Plastic Superhero

Superman, Thor, George Washington, Davy Crockett, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and dad are some of the greatest heroes of all time. Admit it; even you thought your dad was the toughest guy around at one time, able to lift impossible weights and solve any problem. Now I find myself in the same role.

Often, while watching an adventure film, the hero will perform some incredible act of heroism, and like clockwork, one of the children would ask, “Can you do that, Dad?” and the rest would turn their little heads to hear my answer. That is a lot of pressure to put on one man, and it multiplies with every child’s glowing eyes.

At times I feel a man in a costume, a look-alike, or a plastic superhero capable of no more than that of a dresser drawer. Gray hairs, I am turning gray not from the stress of day-to-day life, but from enormous amount of expectations heaped on my shoulders by my very own children. Adults have the experience to understand that one cannot do everything. My children have not yet learned that life lesson. I have trouble teaching that to them, so I end up in an endless circle attempting to not disappoint them. I have become a “sometimes hero,” or a “maybe hero.”

Plastic SuperheroWhen #2 sees Batman beating up a villain and asks, “Can you do that?’ And I respond, “Maybe.”

When #4 sees Barbie rescued by the prince she asks, “Have you done that?” To which I respond, “Sometimes.”

Yet as the children mature, so do their questions. After watching a film in which the hero spends ten years trying to get back home to his wife, #1 asked me, “Daddy, would you spend ten years to come back to Mommy?”

And that was one that I could certainly say, “Yes, I would.”

I suppose there is hope for me yet. As long as all the children mature slowly, I think the transition will be tolerable. If the kids turn out to be smart, I should fade in their eyes from Superman to a wise man, to whom they should always listen to. Well, here’s hoping; but now I need to go and stop the moon from falling out of the sky. “Be right there kids.”

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