He calls himself ‘Super Snap’. It is his alter ego. He has Super Speed and Super Strength and I can get him to help me with near any task if I say:
“Super Snap, can you use your super speed to rescue a diaper from the bathroom so that I change your sister?”
He turns on his heels, puts his hands on his hips and runs like the wind. I’ve no idea how it began but it is one of the most wonderful things that has happened in my household. I’ve got a soft spot for super heroes. On Monday, he wore his red sequins to school and he would answer his preschool teacher only when she addressed him in his super name.
He says things like:
“This healthy food will make me grow strong, right mom?”
And I breathe yes, and then I slip him a chocolate cookie…the opposite must also be true? A bit of junk food will keep you small right? Freeze him in all his glory?
And then there is today…Today when all the fury that could be contained in a body that small bursts forth. A day I can’t wait for bedtime to come. A day I nearly pull out my hair. A day I want to wear a mask so people don’t know who is parenting that Helion. A day I take his teacher flowers because experience has taught me what her morning will be like.
This tension in motherhood is a gift from on high I’m sure of it. How could we watch them grow if it was all sweetness and light? Our hearts would rip clean out, wouldn’t they? And so we walk this line of pulling them in and shrinking them small, and pushing them out and helping them up.
Later in the day, when we are both breathing deeper, he follows me into the kitchen and says,
“Snuggle me mom?”
And I follow him to the living room and we face each other on the sofa. His long legs reaching past my knees. He looks up at me, and like always, reads this mamma mind…
“I’m going to stay with you forever”
And for that moment we both believe it, and shrink small into each other.