Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Super Hero Dreams

My son is fascinated with super heroes. At five, he doesn't know much about them, but hears about super heroes from his friends, he has seen The Incredibles many times, and he has spider man pjammies and a wolverine toy given to him by friends a while ago. That is the extent of his knowledge.

But even with his limited understanding, he still knows that super heroes don't exist in our world.  He is certain, however, that they live in another world. (Just as he is certain the dinosaurs are not extinct in another world and the cartoons on tv live in another world.) As TRex sees it, we could meet the super heroes (and dinosaurs and Jake and the Neverland Pirates), if we just visit their worlds. TRex knows that he can't get to those worlds (yet), but it doesn't stop him from believing in super heroes.

So, as we shopped for birthday party supplies, TRex told me of his plan. He and two friends intend to become super heroes when they grow up so that we have super heroes in our world. That way, there will no longer be bad guys.

TRex's fear of bad guys doing bad things to us is also a constant theme these days.  I don't know what these bad guys are or what he is afraid of specifically, but he is doesn't want the bad guys in our house or around us or in our world at all.

And despite his overwhelming fear of most everything, my son wants to grow up to save our world and rid us of all bad guys. He has decided that the military, FBI, and police are not adequate to take care of this task because they are already in our world and bad guys are still here.  He is certain we need a super hero and since nobody else is doing the job, he will do it.  TRex is does not know what super powers he will need to achieve his goal, but he thinks being able to spit webs would probably help.

If anyone can be the super hero for this world, it would be TRex. His empathy makes him want to help. Always. He always wants to ease pain when he knows about it--even if he causes the pain.  When fighting with DQ, if he hurts her and she cries, usually, his first response is to try to comfort (doesn't normally work because DQ is pissed off).  TRex has a strong sense of fairness and fights for what he thinks is right.

I know TRex would make a great super hero. I won't tell him it's not possible. I'm not about to shatter his dreams (much like I never tell the Dancing Queen she is not going to grow up to be Thomas the Train). I want TRex to hold onto the idea that he can defeat all of the bad guys and make our world better for as long as he can. I hope to give him the tools to make his dream a reality (well, maybe not the spitting webs out of his body part).

Will TRex be able to get rid of all the bad guys? Probably not, but one person can effect positive change in their world. And if TRex wants our world to look a little more like the worlds of his imagination, where no bad guys exist, I want to help him do that.

Think about it.  If we all decided to be super heros and did our part to rid our world of bad guys, peace might not only exist in the imagination of a five year old.

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Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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