Superhero

Are you guys watching The Flash?

You should be.  It’s our family show these days, as in schedule a time, everyone on the couch, riveted for 50 minutes.  Finally a show all five of us can get into at the same time.  It’s 100% satisfying every week.

The Flash has been one of my favorite superheros for a long time.  He has the perfect combination of naive idealism with serious kick-butt abilities.  He can run across water.  He can stop a tornado by running circles in the opposite direction.  He can turn back time and save all the universes.  You have to take this guy seriously.  But he never does.  (Take himself seriously, that is.) That’s the best thing about him.

Okay, enough fangirl.

Let’s talk superpowers.  When my kids were little, I used to say that if I could only have one super power, I would want it to be the power to instantly make anyone sleep by just touching them.  Yes, I was sleep-deprived.  But think about it. Someone is attacking you, and all you have to do is just reach out and touch them and they instantly fall asleep.  You tie them up and haul them off to jail.  No need for killing.  Plus, bonus, you can make small children sleep.  Parents would pay a fortune for this. You would be so rich. This is a very useful power.

Less of my life revolves around getting people to sleep now, so I’ve started to think maybe I could branch out a little.  These days Flash’s super speed is looking pretty awesome.  Think of how much I could get done!

My kids don’t agree, though.  The house is full of them, eight kids ages 2-11. (WEEK 2 of SPRING BREAK!)  Here are the results of my informal survey:

WHICH IS BETTER, THE POWER TO TURN INVISIBLE OR SUPER SPEED?

Invisible: 5

Super speed: 1

WHICH IS BETTER, TO BE SUPER STRONG OR TO HEAL YOURSELF?

Super strong: 0

Heal yourself: 6

WHICH IS BETTER, TO CONTROL ANIMALS OR TO CONTROL PLANTS?

Animals: 6

Plants: 0

IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY SUPER POWER IMAGINABLE, WHAT POWER WOULD YOU WANT (AND WHY)?

5yo: For every animal in the world to like me. So if you were in trouble you could be like, “Hey, animals! Come help me!” And they would. Like how Toby [our beagle] is so good at balancing. So if I was falling off a cliff, I could be like, “Help, Toby!” and he would save me from falling.

6yo: Web-slinging, because it’s fun, but it would scare me to go really high heights.

8yo: To bring back the dead. Fully alive. So I could see great-grandpa and other people.

9yo: Mind control because I could make people do what I wanted them to do

10yo: Mind control [This came with an eye roll because I was taking her away from more important things.]

11yo: Time travel because it’s awesome [I suspect this had something to do with the Dr. Who that was being watched minutes before.]

What do we learn from this scientific research?

1. Kids don’t have any idea how awesome plant control could be. (But they would find out when their silly wolves and tigers were all tied up with vines.)

2. Kids do not have enough to do, as they still think being sneaky is more useful than being fast.  This makes me want to give them more chores while they are still visible and too slow to get away.

3. I need to make sure 5-year-old Lucy gets a chance to see Toby scrambling at the edge of my bed unable to jump up.  She seems to have an inflated idea of his skill level and usefulness.

4.  Don’t ask preteen girls any more questions than you absolutely have to.  It’s just a more harmonious way to live.

What do you think? What power would you choose?  Are there any totally new ideas out there?

I feel some superhero stories coming on.  I’m thinking these would be perfect to make up along with kids.  Grown ups supply the problems, kids supply the superpower fueled solutions.  I’m going to try it out today.  Who’s in?

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