Another day when tragedy pours from my phone and the radio and the TV and I have to try and silence it all so they don’t hear.
Because I’ve spent the day with two superheroes who have no idea about the real-life villains wrecking havoc in Gotham today. They wear capes made out of blankets I swaddled them in as babies and underwear imprinted with their own heroes and jump off the couch. I keep telling them to stop jumping off the couch but they say they have to save people and I know we all need saving so I let them.
They still fight, of course. They fight because neither of them wants to play the bad guy and of course they both want there to be a bad guy to fight so they can win.
I wonder when we stop worrying about whether or not we get to be the hero and when we start worrying about whether or not we will be the victim.
All they want to do is save someone. I throw their stuffed animals around the living room and tell the super heroes to go save that monkey balanced precariously on the back of the rocking chair. After that game ends they come to me for more, expecting me to produce more real comic book life scenarios. All I know from comic books is trains frequently speed off towards broken bridges and cable cars are apt to dangle over rivers, but those are two situations that are hard to re-create in a living room.
Because what might be harder than actually saving someone is figuring out how to do it. We don’t know if it has to do with better legislation or just being better people to each other. But either way we decide that it would be too hard to try and so we just keep doing nothing.
It snowed all day and I kept thinking what a lovely day it would be to go in to labor. I think I just wanted an excuse to stare at the snow as it fell, instead of staring at my phone as the death toll rose. A little distraction.
But no. Another day.
Superheroes are brave. They have to be to wear their underwear on the outside of their pants. They have to be brave once they figure out the truth about Gotham city. They have to be, if they want to save the world.
2 thoughts on “Superheroes”
I followed you over from the essay at America (as I’m sure many others will if they haven’t already!). Your posts make me sad and they make me smile, because I know that juxtaposition of innocent boys and tragic news cycles very well. And I think of your reflections at America and I just get sad, because I wish so much for a Church that can see that all the issues are interconnected, sexuality and immigration and health care and gun violence, and that would stop trying to make it an either/or when it’s really a both/and.
Beautiful words, today. If only we didn’t need them.
Such a poignant commentary, Jackie.