Superheroes are big in our house right now. Baby Boy is usually Superman, although Iron Man and Spiderman make their way into the mix. He likes to stand on furniture with hands on his hips and a very serious look on his face. About six months ago when he got his first caped pair of Superman pajamas I found him on top of his toddler bed, fists raised, eyes squeezed tight, waiting for blast off. He tried two or three times before slumping his shoulders and declaring, "Not working!" If a boy could have taken off through sheer will-power alone, Baby Boy would have done it. Now he is content to make a swishing kind of noise while he runs around wildly. He really is almost faster than a speeding bullet when he's at full steam.
Baby Girl is, as she says, "Superman TOOOO!" Sometimes her brother is willing to share one of his official capes but I also fashioned her one using a pink and teal polyester fabric scrap and she seems happy with that. She trails after her brother like a shiny little Girl Wonder shadow. She also walks around with her eyes closed a lot saying she's "a superhero." I'm thinking it's the Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four. I'm positive it is going to cause a concussion at some point but, Love and Logic parent that I am, I am doing nothing to discourage her. Maybe she's sharpening her other senses in the process. Anyway, she's happy, unless you indicate that you can actually see her, which can cause some frustration.
Although I have always been a Marvel fan myself, you have to be careful these days about which cartoons you let your kids watch. Not so much because of the violence. They always were violent. I know and understand the arguments against cartoon violence, agree that there is definitely some desensitizing going on, but it's just not one of my areas of concern. I grew up shooting my sisters with a fake Uzi and turned out a pacifist. No, what bothers me is that all of a sudden they involve teenagers talking ugly to each other, calling each other "geeks" and "nerds." Saying "shut up" and "stupid." Those are bad words in our house and I would like to keep it that way. Since when are we worried about who Peter Parker is going to take to the prom? My kids don't care about that; they want to see Spidey jump off a building. And, frankly, I do too. The new Speed Racer cartoon is the same and, although we didn't watch long as a result of all the strange "teenaged social hierarchy" subtext, I didn't see hide nor hair of a monkey. What is this world coming to?
Anyway, I digress. I am loving this stage in my children's play development. Their bodies and their imaginations are both off and running and it's fun too watch. Beyond that, though, I find it inspiring. Because Baby Boy isn't really just running (and running and running) around the house, he's leaping tall building in a single bound. Baby Girl isn't just about to run blindly into the front doorknob, she's invisible. It seems silly or unrealistic to some grumpy grown-ups. Not to me. I think "their world" is so much better than "our world." And theirs is so much closer to God's world. That is why He said the kingdom of heaven belongs to children. They dream big and believe anything is possible. And it is. Luke 1:37 says so. "Nothing is impossible with God." Nothing.
I didn't tell Baby Boy that he couldn't fly. I watched him figure the physics lesson out all on his own. After his initial disappointment, I didn't feel the need to reinforce it. Also, what do I know? Maybe he can. Maybe when he's older and bigger he'll invent some kind of anti-gravity jet-pack thing that he can control with his mind. Far be it from me to tell him what he can and can't do. What is and isn't possible. Because whatever I would say would probably be wrong. I have no idea what that kid can do. Anything is possible.
So much of the time we live in this awful, limited little world of our own creation. I'm not sure when it happens, but at some point we stop donning a cape, closing our eyes and expecting to fly, literally then figuratively. We run into a few door jambs and decide we're not invisible; we're just bruised. I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm going to learn from my children that there is a better world to live in, everyday. I'm going to have fun and dream big and wait to see all the impossible things that God and I are going to do. I'm going to stop being an imagination couch potato and start being a superhero. Starting today: I am Iron Mom.