“Look, Mama, I’m Super Man!”
We are on a walk, and Kaleb races away from me through the open field. I laugh and take off after Super Man, realizing it won’t be long before he really can outrun me!
“Look, Mama, I’m Spider Man,”
He shouts throwing himself against our minivan, scrambling up over the hood, struggling to climb over the sloping windshield before one of his brothers or I can grab him back down.
“Look, Mama, I can run fast!“
“Look, Mama, I can jump high!“
“Look, Mama, I can beat up bad guys with one punch – BOOM!“
“Look, Mama, I can protect you from anything!“
“Look, Mama, I can…”
Our Super hero conversations always start the same.
“Look, Mama, I can…”
And Kaleb spouts off whatever trait he currently thinks would be “mostest awesomest,”
but the other day, he stopped and asked me what super power I wanted.
I was in an introspective mood and knew without blinking an eye,
“The power to forgive and to Love unconditionally, Kaleb.”
He looked at me funny as I took the wind out of his sails.
“Dontcha wanna run really fast?”
I thought of all the wounds that could be healed if I could snap my fingers and offer total and complete forgiveness. I smiled at him.
He wrinkled his brow further.
“Dontcha wanna jump really high?”
I thought of how I had once thought I was capable of unconditional Love, but how I was now no longer sure. I picked him up hugging him tightly.
His hands flew up in the air as he tried to wriggle free from my arms.
“Dontcha wanna beat up bad guys with one punch?”
I thought of some of the people who had hurt my boys and me over the years, there are some I would like to punch – hard!
The answer came more slowly, and my little boy looked up at me with both trusting and disbelieving eyes. I had to quickly remind myself of the call to forgive and Love unconditionally. I rubbed my nose against his and bit the side of his neck sending him into fits of giggles.
I could tell he didn’t understand why I’d pass over awesomest powers like running really fast, jumping really high, and beating up people with one punch. There was a time not too long ago, I would have chosen super powers like those too; I’d probably have chosen having the ability to fly (conveniently forgetting my fear of heights of course!) .
But with time and experience, many things I’d once thought important mean less to me. The older I get, the more I discover what is really important in life.
Super powers, as I used to think of them, are pretend. I’d rather have real power. I’d rather be real.
Kaleb looked up at me, testing me with one last questioning look, which I answered before he could ask aloud.
“No, Kaleb. With forgiveness and Love, we can do anything.”
I knew I had won when I saw his little face clear of confusion and understanding take its place. He jumped from my arms and looked up at me with a mischievous grin.
“Okay, Mama, but when you do that stuff, I’m going to make them come shooting out of your eyes with laser beams!”
I laughed in surprise as he ran off.
And I’m pretty sure my eyes shot laser beams of unconditional Love at his rapidly departing little figure.
And I realized that the power of compromise was pretty important too.
And of the many shapes and sizes real life super heroes come in.
And I thanked the Lord for all five of mine!
What super power would you possess if you were offered one?