By Lisa Sugarman
So I have something I need to get off my chest. But I have to say, it’s a little embarrassing, so I haven’t been in a big rush to go public with it. I mean, I don’t want it to change how you feel about me, so I’ve been torn about whether or not to tell you.
Sit down. Stand. It’s your choice. I just want you to be in a good, stable position to receive semi-controversial news.
It may surprise you. It may not. Just promise me you’ll be open minded and you won’t judge me.
(Deep breath.) I desperately—and I mean desperately—want to be a superhero.
I know. Curve ball.
Stay with me.
Now onto why I want to be a superhero. And this is the part that might surprise you.
Look, I’d be lying if I said the idea of slipping on a pair of red patent-leather knee-high Wonder Woman boots every day wasn’t appealing, because it is. I am a girl, after all. And while I’m sure that being a legit superhero would totally buy me VIP seating at restaurants all over town; not even that matters much to me. For me, it’s about the powers. Nothing more. (Ok, fine. Maybe that and just a cute red, sequin skort with built-in Spandex. Something swishy.) Everything else, like the fame, the notoriety, and all the complimentary schwag, is just incidental.
I just want the abilities. But because I’m not a hassa, like Superman, that I don’t even care about having all the trendy powers like he has (selfish bastard). And I just want one.
I want the power of being able to See Around Corners. Which, for all you laypeople, is superhero for seeing the future. It just sounds more superheroish the other way.
I hope you don’t think less of me because I didn’t choose a power like healing the sick or bringing back the dead. I’m a simple girl and I have a super-limited attention span, so one good power is really all I can handle. I don’t chew gum and talk well at the same time.
Ok, why the big buildup to my real point here. Because that’s how I roll. I’m all about the big lead.
Look, the sad fact is, I want this power for one very simple reason. It’s not glamorous or sexy. It’s for practical purposes only. And I want it for the same reason that all moms secretly want it, because it would be the single greatest weapon to help us fight the fight against our kids’ number one, worst archenemy: THEMSELVES.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried, since my kids hit puberty, to explain to them, in simple, easy-to-understand English, that whatever crisis they were dealing with was not, in fact, the actual end of the world. That whatever fight they were in with a friend would actually resolve. That the zit on their cheek would eventually fade away. Or, that sooner or later, what goes around does actually come around.
If only we had the power to prove to them that we knew, for sure, that they’ll make it through middle school and high school and beyond. That friends will come and go and come back again. That they won’t always be sitting by themselves in the cafeteria at lunch. That yes, you actually can make new friends at the middle and high school level. Or that they will, most definitely, figure out what they want to do with their lives.
Because I don’t know about you, but my kids aren’t buyin’ it when I tell them that things almost always have a way of working out. And I could say it waving a stack of statistical data in their face that proves it, with Doctor Oz standing behind me giving the thumbs up, and they’d still shrug me off. I could bring in a panel of experts, buy them a book about it, read them an article, send in a dozen other parents to say the same thing, and they’d still think I didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. But, say it as a bonafide superhero with registered powers from the Justice League, and BAAAAAM! They can take that to the bank.
It’s unfortunate that the parent-child relationship was designed with the genetic flaw that inhibits credibility with our kids, rendering whatever we say and however we say it useless. We’re constantly swimming upstream, against a current, with a bowling ball chained to our ankle, in a perfect storm. And that’s exactly why I think that having this super power would change everything. If I had the See Around Corners power and could prove to them that I’m right about everything I’m telling them, then I’ll defeat the insecure, immature child that lives inside their body and controls most of their rational thoughts.
I would win! Can you imagine?! Then they’d stop being their own worst enemy and I could go on with my life instead of spending the majority of my time unsuccessfully trying to convince my kids that life has a way of working out. That tomorrow is always another day. That the grass is almost always greener. I mean it’s exhausting, right?
So while I’m crossing my fingers that some kind of gamma radiation project goes awry while I just happen to be standing in a laboratory lobby, exposing me to a one-of-a-kind radiation cocktail that gives me my sweet, new super power, I know the likelihood is low.
Guess I’m just destined to live my life like oh, I don’t know, Lois Lane, and fight evil from behind a typewriter. But I refuse to give up hope. Cause you just never know.
Lisa Sugarman lives in Marblehead. Read and discuss all her columns at facebook.com/ItisWhatitisColumn OR follow her blog at https://itiswhatitiscolumn.wordpress.com.