Choose Your Superhero

I could hear the boys playing in the other room. Daryl was being the typical older sibling bully, trying to manipulate the play as he saw fit. I was once the older sibling; I remember exactly how it goes.

“Ok, Hal. I’m Hawkeye and Black Panther and Thor. Who do you want to be?”

“I want to be Thor!”

“No. I’m Thor. You can be Antman. Or Hulk. Or Ironman.”

“No! I don’t want to be Ironman! I want to be Thor.”

“You can’t. Why don’t you be Antman? Antman is cool.”

“No!”

“Ok, fine. You can be Thor and Hulk, but I’m Hawkeye and Black Panther.”

“I want to be Superman!”

“No! You can’t be Superman. We are playing Avengers!”

I had been trying to get Daryl’s attention for some time. I finally raised my voice loud enough to be heard. “Daryl! Come here!”

When he entered the room, I said, “Quit trying to control everything.”

“I’m not!”

“Yes, you are. You are taking all the best characters and leaving him the leftovers.”

“No I’m not. I took my two favorite ones and then he can pick his two favorites. Besides, he doesn’t want Hawkeye anyway.”

“That’s beside the point. You should pick one and then let him pick one.”

He got a sly grin on his face. “Well, I’d just pick Black Panther first since I know he wouldn’t pick Hawkeye, so it’s the same difference.”

Sighing, I asked, “Why can’t he be Superman?”

“Because that wouldn’t be fair!”

“Why wouldn’t that be fair?”

“Because I can’t defeat Superman!”

“None of the Avengers can beat Superman?”

He looked at me like my intelligence ranked somewhere around that of a slug.

“No, mom. I don’t have any green Kryptonite. Hawkeye doesn’t have any Kryptonite arrows. And Black Panther doesn’t have anything Kryptonite either. Superman is like the strongest, toughest guy ever. You can’t beat him without Kryptonite.”

“Oh, ok,” I responded before walking down the hall to share the amusing conversation with my husband.

As I recounted the tale to him, Jane jumped in and said, “Thor could beat Superman. Thor is really strong. And he’s not just a superhero. He’s a god.”

“Pssshhhht! Whatever. Thor wouldn’t stand a chance against Superman.” My husband looked affronted.

And with that, I got a glimpse of what Daryl might be as an adult. My husband began speaking with great authority on the relative strengths of various superheroes plus some history on comic books in general.

And I learned the main, most obvious reason that Hal could not possibly be Superman. With much the same tone his son had used, he explained, “He’s not even in the same universe.”

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When The Kids Are Away, The Parents Will Play

The kids are away from home this week and we are making the most of it. We had a great time at a wine tasting party last night. Today, we made plans for the movies.

Checking up on the kids while they are away has always felt like a chore. They sound very shy and not that interested in being on the phone. The conversations go something like this: “Hi, sweetheart!”…”Hi mommy.”…”Are you having fun?”…”Yes.”…”What have you been doing?”…”We went to the zoo.”…”That sounds like fun! What did you see?”…”Animals.”

This time, however, Jane has a cell phone. I decided to take a texting approach. The result was a lot more fun. Many of these messages passed each other, which means like many texting conversations, we were often answering each other out of order. I’ve included the timestamps and rearranged them a little bit so it will make more sense.

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Later, I wanted to rub it in that I had been to the movies – a rare treat for me.

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That last bit was a reference to a movie date we were supposed to have months ago. Thanks to the power of texting, I went from date to chauffeur with alarming speed. First she gained permission for a friend to accompany us. Then it grew to three or four girls and mom was no longer welcomed to tag along.

The next bit of the conversation saw me go down in auto-correct flames as I was trying to send the texts quickly in order to keep up with her.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with my daughter. It spread out across the day and was fun. Her possession of a cell phone is perhaps not all bad.

Garage Sale Frenzy

A wise woman waits until her children go to bed and then quietly gathers up the outgrown clothes and excess toys, books, and movies for a garage sale. A foolish woman takes her children to the garage sale that is reselling their pilfered possessions.

A woman such as me can fall from wisdom to foolishness with alarming speed.

And thus we found ourselves at the church garage sale. Everyone found items that they just absolutely had to have, thereby nicely replenishing the dent I had made in the accumulated “stuff” at home.

Hal found a singing Valentine’s bear that played “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes while a lighted sign spun in a circle and displayed messages. I always knew where he was because I could hear the bear. So could everyone else.

He also found a Cars jacket that he absolutely loved. I explained that it had been his when he was two but didn’t fit him anymore. “It doesn’t?”

“No, honey. See? It says ‘Infant, 24 months’. You aren’t an infant, are you? Not a baby?”

He agreed to put it back and then proceeded to point out all his other clothing including his dear Superman pants and Cars pajamas.

Jane came running to me all excited because she had found her favorite pair of her friend Madison’s shorts. “And the best part is that I don’t even have to try them on because I already know they fit!”

Daryl was livid when he looked through the DVDs and found Spy Kids and Woody Woodpecker and… “G Force! Daddy! She gave away G Force!” He glared at me as if we had become mortal enemies.

At one point, he showed me a crystal shaped perfume bottle. “Mommy, I thought this was a light, like a night light or something so I pressed the bottom like this {he pressed the ‘bottom’, which was really the top because he was holding it upside down} and then it sprayed on my face!”

After we paid for all of our new treasures, we drove down the road in our little Prius. After a few minutes, I grimaced. “Daryl. I really wish you hadn’t mistaken that perfume bottle for a light.”