We’ve recently entered the exciting world of superheroes in our home. I believe that this phase in a boy’s life is a turning point that indicates a new level of maturity. It’s much more than boys playing their own form of dress up. Superheroes help us deal with the tough issues in life. It brings up that need we all have to sort through things like
- Identity and wearing masks
- Role models
- Wisely using the gifts we’ve been given
- Helping people in need
- Why bad guys are bad
- How to handle the bad guys in our lives
My husband and I have both had some profound conversations lately with Dash as we watch age-appropriate superhero shows and pretend play together.
Dash recently went through a couple of days where he was frustrated with his little sister and chose to take out his frustration using some of his super-strength and hero tools as weapons against her. A couple of minor bumps and a few baby tears later, sister was fine, but our little hero was still struggling on the inside.
I watched as father sat down kindly with son and began explaining what it means to do be a real hero. “It never involves using our strength, weapons, or emotions to hurt others, especially those we love,” he said. The exchange between them moved all of us, as the parents in the room revisited and reapplied Spiderman’s wise Uncle Ben’s words, “With great power comes great responsibility,” to our own life issues.
Tonight we had to deal with a new nemesis. It was superhero night at Chick-fil-a, and Dash has been anticipating this event for at least a month.
He took great care in donning his Batman garb, practicing his moves on Grandpa, and proclaiming his excitement for the evening’s events. We arrived before the crowds rolled in, ate our dinner, and sent our little Batman through the Bat Cave into the play area to make new friends and have a blast.
I will never know all of the details of what happened in the play area, but I do know that there was a bigger boy who quickly became my little Batman’s villain. Grandma observed the two of them tussling and quickly put a stop to that. It’s highly possible that my Batman threw one of his foam Batarangs at this new-found villain, but somehow the bigger boy caught hold of one of these prized possessions and ripped it.
It’s heartbreaking to wipe tears from a four-year-old who has never before been tossed to the ground and had one of his favorite toys broken by a boy who had a vendetta against him. However, as much as I wish we could always focus on the fun part of superheroes, sometimes we have to face the pain that comes with it. Mean people are out there. Fighting may look cool when we are watching cartoons, but in reality, batarangs get broken and the offender won’t stop to say sorry.
Living the life of a hero is not always glamorous, and it’s not unlike the life of a Christian. It’s difficult. Pain and enemies are inevitable. Yet we must share God’s love with others and not not live for our own agendas. When we lose a batarang along the way, we must not give up. We’re given great power and with it comes the greater responsibility to forgive, refocus, and pray God uses us in His quest to save the world.