Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Superhero in YOU

"Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do." -Steve Jobs

3 a.m. And my son was wide awake. Dreaming of superheroes again. Since I sleep with earplugs, I didn't know anything was astir until my husband stumbled into the room and plopped our WIDE EYED 3 year old on our bed. It wasn't long into the shared bed experience that we knew that our little man wouldn't be settling into a deep sleep as we had desperately hoped.  He was trying. But it just wasn't happening.  He'd be quiet and still for a few minutes, just long enough for us to drift back to sleep, and then his legs would shoot out in little kicks or his body wiggled under the covers. In and out of sleep for us. Him, tossing and turning.... just SO. Full. Of. ENERGY.

After about 30 minutes of trying to fake sleep, I lost hope that this would go smoothly.  I knew that my  husband had gone to bed way later than me and that he was exhausted so I cut my possum act, pulled the earplugs out, and put my mommy hat on.  Rolling over, I looked into my bundle of three's eyes and told him I loved him and that it was time to sleep.  I kissed his cheeks and he puckered up his lips to return the gesture.

Then we exchanged some words that went something like this:
"Mommy, when I grow up, can I be a superhero like Batman?"
I smiled and said, "Forget Batman, you can grow up to be Superhero YOU!" Then I rolled over  and whispered "Goodnight Superhero Sam."   
I could feel his smile on my back as he returned my goodnight with a "Goodnight Superhero Mommy!"

My son really does believe in superheroes.  Why wouldn't he?  He's three.  He believes in an entire world of imaginary possibilities.  On any given day, I often don't know whether to call him by his name or any of the common superhero names like Batman, Superman, or Spiderman. He gets lost in a world of his own.  Dashing down the hall.  Sputtering out sounds meant to show that he is rescuing someone.  Or tearing down a chair in my dining room even at the risk of royally pissing me off.  All in the name of SAVING THE DAY!

May We Always Believe
Seeing my son so lost in thought last night, or early this morning, was actually a very special moment for me. One I want to remember forever. I could see, hear and feel his "Child-like Wonder" in that window of time that we shared.

My prayer to myself as I drifted back to sleep with his tiny hands on my back was that he would hold on to this child-like wonder and sense of superhero possibilities for as long as possible.  Even forever.  

Waking up this morning brought with it my usual routine of making a beeline for the coffee pot and plopping myself down on the couch to wake up with my thoughts.  From then until now, I've been thinking about this Superhero Topic. This subject of child-like wonder.  This thought of having a deep belief in our our Inner SUPERHERO!

When do we lose this?  At what age age do we lose our child-like wonder?  Our sense of believing in the impossible?  At what moment do we lose our sense of Superhero possibility?  Some never do.  Perhaps these are the people that really are our LIFE SUPERHEROES. Not just for others but for themselves and what they do for themselves so they can give back to the world.  Some never give up their sense of child-like wonder and hope.  They hold on to something SO PRECIOUS and POWERFUL.  Their ability to hold on to their superhero mindset is what makes them great.  It's what keeps them climbing and reaching for the dreams that seem impossible to some.  It is these people that push on and discover things in life that others can only imagine.  They are the people that are often laughed at or told   that they "dream too big" or are "kidding themselves".  These dreamers, child-like believers, and Self-Superheroes shut the negative voices out and they almost always prove that they really can make the "impossible" possible.  They make us all believe a little deeper. They are the people that end up changing the world for the better.  And really, when it comes down to it:

They ARE superheroes.  

Merriam-Webster defines superhero as:

a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also; an exceptionally skillful or successful person.

 They are their OWN SUPERHERO!  They never let that go. But now their fictional is REAL and it carries over to their skill and success.  That sense of "saving the day" and making BIG THINGS happen is still there.

I'd like to believe that I've held on to a great deal of my child-like wonder.  And in light of this conversation with my son, from here on out, I choose to see the Superhero that I can be to my world...even if what I believe in or strive for might seem crazy to some.

Can you think of someone that inspires you with their sense of superhero possibilities when it comes to making big things happen (for themselves and others)? 
Or who are some REAL LIFE superheroes of history that have changed the world as it once was?  



  1. My 9 year old son stood by me and read this as I did. (He was supposed to be going to bed.) He even asked me to "scroll down" from time to time. He got done and said "That was a really nice blog." THANK YOU! Reading about your son, has always reminded me of my own. He has replaced the capes and spiderman costumes with Mincraft games and Dr Who shirts. And I do hope everyday, that he (and my daughter) will do amazing things in their life. I always like what you say on your blog, but tonight, my son really did to!

  2. It is magical. And I love how and that you've written this :)

  3. Oh boy. I was older before the super-hero idea showed up in my life (7 or 8?) but when it did I (and all my friends) latched on 8)

    I didn't know how to sew so I used a stapler, cloth and construction paper to make a my super-hero-hood. The cape was easier 8/ (white sheet with crayons).

    countless fun hours spent.....

  4. Sounds like you had a super special day with the 3 YO!! My boys are big time into super-hero activities too.. Right now they are way into power-rangers from the '80's. THis leads to fake karate and lots of tears, but still-- it's good fun.
    Most kids believe that the world is there for them to take- sky is the limit! You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

  5. Man, I remember my little Spiderman.....He slept in the costume even. Wouldn't walk, only pranced around the house on his toes and finger tips for weeks!

    Ah-such a good mom. You really are.

    Yes, I can think of many people who have believed big "impossible" things and made them reality!!! A person who believes fully in something, or who appears to carry no negativity or self-doubt in expressing the possibilities is quite infectious. You're right, many of these people with this mindset have changed our world!! We've talked a little about childhood wonder and and I mentioned how I felt qualities in you in this respect impacted me positively.

    I do believe people are gifted with certain personalities though...I believe the world has a mix to make it:) I've lost a lot of my child-hood wonder. Not sure I could grab that back entirely but I do believe I can still change the world for the the better!! I believe I am!

  6. You are certainly right to cherish this time (even if it occurs at 3:00am!). I love the ages my boys are now - 11, 14 - but there are times I miss the innocence of a 3-year old super hero. Plus, at 3 as a superhero, your son is invincible. I hope he never loses that!!!

    I love reading your posts - you make the story come alive with your excellent writing!!!

  7. Oh you got me this morning. Tears over my morning tea. I see this super-hero mentality slipping away in my almost 9 year old son and I see it developing in my 1 year old son. I am clinging to both right now. I don't know if it is for them or for me.

    Thank you for this post! I really enjoyed it!

  8. Believing in super heroes is a good thing! I remember when I used to believe in them too. I still do in a way, but a little more realistic. I guess the adult version of super heroes. A lot of professional athletes are super heroes, single parents, stay at home moms, etc. I think that my dad is a super hero too, he will always be my favorite. :-)

  9. Oh wow, just wow, this was a powerful post.

    I dont think we really lose, we are more consumed with the adult things in life. It kinda makes me feel, one of the sub-consicous reasons we actually do endurance sports, is because it brings us back to our childhood, think about, as a kid, we loved to run, swim, and bike. That is how we played, it is how we got to our friends house, it is how we explored, it is what we looked forward to after school, swimming, biking, and running with our friends. So now, decades later, what do we look forward to after work, swimming, biking, and running, like we were when we are kids.

    Endurance athletes dress like superhero, it is true, spandex, compression tights, tight tops, compression socks, (and we have all worn these items to work, under our work clothes, like superman, I know I am guilty of it) loud and bright shoes, fancy sunglasses, fuel belts, with compartments, fancy watches that tell us everything under the weather of what we are doing and how far we have left to go, all we are missing is a cape, BUT we have all seen someone running with a cape at a race.

    Then to top it all off, crossing the finishline in our superhero outfits, we get a medal put around our neck, just like a superhero would for doing something to save the day

    Yep, endurance sports takes us back to childhood like superhero days

    1. Holy cow, this post really brought back memories of my childhood, thank you for sharing this

    2. Love this comment! So so true. It is also so much about setting big dreams and reaching for them. I can think of several blogger average endurance athletes that are real superheroes to me. :)

  10. I like the idea that we are our own Superheroes! I think I needed that thought to make it through a slump! Thanks!

  11. Awwww, I love all your kid stories....I hope you write them all down (well, duh - on your blog you do :)) because you will remind your kids often when they are sitting at the kitchen table struggling with their chemistry homework and you are scrolling though thousands of Google pages to remember what a proton is so you can help them. I'll tell him next time he needs a little chemistry help to just pull on his superhero costume and anything will be possible! Thanks, made me smile! xo

  12. I like the idea of a superhero. They make you think everything can turn out alright! In that way God is the ultimate superhero.

  13. Love this post. Love the moment in the bed when you decided to be the superhero mommy. Love the comment above about why some of us choose to do the things we do. My boys are all sorts of superheros. Even the youngest with underwear on his head proclaiming he is Batman. They jump from coffee table to couch. From the couch they flip over the back to the floor making every life saving sound they can make and in it all, depending on the day, I'm either yelling about it or smiling through it. This week has been a yelling about it kind of week, but not tonight. Thanks again, Amanda. And, I totally have superheros in my life. Ones that make me dream big, reach further, inspire others. So many to name.

  14. Such a sweet story! And yes, there are a number of people I admire with their 'superhero'-like-ness. I've come to realize that they also have fears and doubts, but can push past them and go for their big goals and dreams. I'm working on rediscovering my inner superhero myself. :)

  15. Yes! I have thought about this sometimes - how we lose some adventurousness, braveness, imagination as we grow up. It's sad! May our inner child always live on in some fashion!!