"Mommy, Daddy -- let's watch the superheroes!"
The Incredibles, echoing in my head as I run at a decent clip, one step after another, one breath after another...imagining my girls running around house, outside, down the street, jumping in the air, standing on their tippy-toes to pick sour apples...me running a little faster to keep up with them...
I am able-bodied. I can walk and run. So are the Mama and the girls. That shouldn't make us superheroes, and it doesn't really, but to those who can't, it's different. Much different.
Different for those who live an alternative afterlife post injury or illness or birth defect, paralyzed from the waist down, the sternum down, or even the neck down.
Like my best friend, Robby. We've been friends since we were 12 years old. A long, long time ago...
And then there was a fateful spring day at a swim meet our senior year in high school. Him wanting to go with a group of us to the coast instead of his swim meet, knowing perfectly well he wouldn't miss his meet for anything. Us returning early that evening to discover shockingly that he broke his neck and crushed his spinal cord on a third false start, then us rushing to the hospital to see him, his mother claiming we were family so we could see him in the ICU the next morning when he was conscious.
Thirty-five years I've known him, and even after the accident, no matter how many times he's relived his life pre-paralysis, and wished to have it all back post, he keeps saying to me:
"I want to be around to see what happens next."
No matter how hard it's been or it gets, I want to be around...
The superhero mythos is about having extraordinary powers and using them to do good and help others (unless you're a villain, which I hope you're not). Unfortunately we take for granted the extraordinary powers that move us forward every single day, physically, mentally and spiritually, to see what happens next. But not just seeing what happens next -- being what happens next.
The Mama and I want our girls to "B" what happens next, regardless. To be an everyday superhero like my best friend, Robby, no matter the kryptonite we keep.