But before I get into the reasons for that first let me tell you about the deep philosophical discussion we had about super-heroes and why these discussions with my kids make me feel very blessed as a writer.
My son came out into the living room dressed in his Spiderman costume, with his Darth Vader cape, holding his Thundercats dagger.
"What are you supposed to be?" I asked. "You're wearing a good guy suit with a bad guy cape."
"That's because I'm Evil Good," he told me.
"Evil Good?" I said confused.
"Yes. Sometimes the good guys have to do something bad to do something good," he explained while he brandished his dagger.
"Yes," he said.
"Like how?" I asked. "Maybe like when they have to break into a building to stop a bad guy from hurting someone?"
"Yep. Sometimes the good guys even have to kill someone. They have to do something evil to accomplish something good."
Then he asked me to take his picture.
Now if you are like me this simple statement that summed up the plight of all heroes at some point in their journey flooded my mind with all kinds of thoughts until I thought my brain might short circuit. I thought of comic book heroes, real-life heroes, and the various ideas all people have about good versus evil and our perception of what is evil and what is good.
This could launch me down a path to all kinds of scenarios and controversy. But then I thought of what a super-hero often faces and how the true hero always overcomes evil whether it is real or perceived. And I realized that my son fits most if not all the qualifications of a super-hero. That awesome thought gave me goose bumps.
The average super-hero is often adopted in some way after losing his or her parents at a very young age. My son was given up for adoption by his birth mother at the tender age of 3 1/2 years. When we got his referral from our adoption agency he'd only been in the orphanage for a few months. A year later when our adoption had been approved I worried that he might be shy or even frightened by these two strange adults who didn't look like him or even speak his language. My little boy saw me and ran to me with open arms the first time we met. He bravely got on a plane a few short days later and crossed an ocean to his new home even though I know he was terrified. Once we were on the plane and he was given a plate full of food shortly after we were seated he put his little hands to his cheeks and said, "Oh my God!" He truly thought he was a king on that airplane.
The average super-hero is on a journey of self and must overcome challenges of strength and heart to become someone who can save others. My son was 4 1/2 with the bone development of a 2 1/2 year-old child when we brought him home. His coordination was also a bit rough. Now he is the average size of an 8 year-old and he plays basketball and runs track. He is strong both physically and emotionally.
Despite the challenges he's had to face he goes through life with a joyful heart. As his mom I am doubly blessed to know him and have him as my son. Whenever I get down or think life is tough as a person or as a writer I'm humbled by my complaints whenever I look at him. Life could always be worse. If we don't dwell on the hardships or use them instead to learn from we can overcome so much. My own little super-hero had something evil happen to him. Circumstances beyond his or his birth family's control separated them and left him an orphan. But out of the evil of circumstance came so much good. It gives me faith to believe we can all be heroes if we choose to be.