Put on Your Superhero Cape
Updated: Feb 16, 2019
I was working in my office the other day when my son ran through the front door, threw off his backpack, tossed his lunchbox on the floor and yelled, "Mom! I'm gonna be a ninja! You need to sign me up for ninja classes!" He then leapt up the stairs to his room where I heard jumping, stomping and a series of loud Kung-Fu warrior shouts.
As I watched and listened to his excitement I was reminded of the joys of being a kid and how as a child you still believe the world is there for your taking and the wonderful freedom that exists from other people's opinions.
I'll never forget when my middle son was younger he had these cowboy boots that he wore everywhere. It didn't matter if it was a blazing 98 degrees out he would have them on. When it came time for school to start I didn't have the heart to tell him not to wear them. Instead I would drop him off at school and watch him grinning from ear to ear in his shorts and boots up to his knees. As I drove off I would be praying none of the kids would make fun of him and steal his childlike wonder.
At night when I would put him to bed he would tell me he either wanted to be the President or a toad trainer when he grew up. How awesome to be a kid again when you can wear cowboy boots with shorts and either be the President or a toad trainer.
There's something so magical about the wonder of a child's mind that believes they can be anything they want in life. It's not until we get older that we stop believing, but why? Why do we no longer imagine or dream or believe we can be superheroes?
Is it because somebody told us our dreams were not realistic? Is it because, like a big bully, life has knocked us down one too many times and the fear of getting knocked down again has caused us to stay down rather than get up again?
At what point do we lose our childlike wonder?
As parents we often get upset with our kids for not staying on task or taking too long to do something, but that's because everything is new to them. Everywhere they look are new possibilities. You're hurrying to work and are irritated because your toddler isn't getting in the car and is stopped on the sidewalk. So you snatch them up and put them in their car seat without noticing the red lady bug with black polka-dots crawling across the pavement that your daughter had stopped to watch.
I don't know how many nights I have raised my voice at my youngest, "Why does it always take you so long to get ready for bed?" But maybe instead of asking him that he should ask me, "How's come you never join me in flossing down the hallway (for those who don't have kids that's a dance move, not the stuff you put between your teeth) on my way to the bathroom, or play swords with our toothbrushes, or grab a Lego off the floor on the way to bed and swoop it around the room like a plane?"
"Why do you miss all this fun, Mom?"
So when my son came running through the door the other day ecstatic about becoming a ninja I felt a nudge in my spirit reminding me to pick back up my childlike wonder.
And if my son can find so much wonder just between the space of his bed and the bathroom sink where he brushes his teeth every night, surely I can find some more wonder in the world I live in every day; if only I will look around me, stop to notice a lady bug crawling across the sidewalk, pick up a Lego every now and then and fly it around the room, and instead of condemning my child for imagining, dreaming and believing, maybe I should put on my superhero cape and remember that the world is there for my taking.