April 1, 2008


Jerry Seinfeld, in one of his classic sketches, said that for men growing up, "being a superhero wasn't a fantasy. It was an option."

Nobody knows this better than me, a bonafide grown-up wanna-be superhero who happens to have a 3 year-old son with similar ambitions. The difference between him and I is that I am fully aware of the facts:
1. I can't fly.
2. I am NOT invincible.
3. I do not look good in bright-colored tights.
4. I know the truth about "special FX" and "CGI."

For my boy, however, these are all just minor formalities that are easily overcome by popping his favorite CD in the stereo (a mix of Superhero theme songs from their beloved cinematic counterparts), strapping on his reversible Velcro Superman/Batman cape, and climbing up on the nearest piece of furniture for the full effect. For this kid--my son, my flesh and blood--being a real superhero is like being anything else. Anybody can do it as long as they're committed to going all the way. And believe me, he is!

"What do you want to be for Halloween?

"What movie do you want to watch tonight?"

"What do you-"

"What about-"

"Indiana Jones!" (He's the exception to the super powers rule)

"Superman! I already told you!"

And it goes on and on. This isn't a bad thing, mind you. There are a hundred other things he could be interested in, things that don't promote the standard superhero qualities of courage, strength, selflessness, saving people in need... He could be calling me "dizzad" and asking for a toy "gat" and some "bling" for his birthday. Thank goodness he ain't some wannabe original gangsta, or I'd be set-tripping on his baby grill while he's still tippin' with his mini-homies, and then 86 'em all outta my crib straight-up!

The day will come when this kid gets to learn that superheroes are a thing of fiction, of fantasy, of make-believe. He'll get to find ways of coping with the reality that he'll never be invincible, he'll never be able to fly on his own, he'll never have a good reason for donning an emblematic, tights-based costume for the good of mankind. But the beauty of what he's living now is that he'll grow up knowing of the joy one feels by serving his fellow man in heroic and courageous ways, and if he's lucky, he may find himself in a career that allows him to do that on a daily basis. Saving lives, living in integrity, and standing for truth, justice, and the human way--these are the qualities all real-life heroes should have, no cape required.

But for now, I'm gonna let the kid fly.


Chelle said...

Such a great story and picture. I agree with you all the way, let him fly!

By the way, I'd like to know where you got the purple pants?

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thomas said...

(Sorry I deleted the first post because I got distracted mid way by my little superhero getting into my planner and work papers.)

When I was in preschool my alter-ego superhero was a character I made up named Silver Bird.

Mr. Director said...

Silver Bird sounds familiar... Remember when we used to watch "Silverhawks" and "Bionic 6"? Those were the good old days.

Shannon said...

Ezzy is my superhero!

Holladay Photo said...

such a great post! talented writer you are! i love the family halloween photo too- i think its the best dressed family costume i've EVER seen!

Mr. Director said...

Pants that purple don't naturally come that way. I bought a pair of light khaki's and then dyed them purplicious. They are the sweetest pair I own, hands down.

leah said...

This is so funny. I love your writing Mike and the pic. at the end.

Jason and Sarah said...

Okay, so it has been awhile since I got on your Madness. But that is a great post. I still want to be a superhero too!