I missed Boy Mom Monday last week because I was 3300 miles away from my boys in Port au Prince, Haiti. I just returned from my trip and, in lieu of a devotion, I am posting something I wrote in 2008 for my column in the local paper. Maybe some of you can relate 🙂
It all started with the Boy Wonder. In the fall of 2005, my mom made Batman and Robin costumes for my two boys. The two-year-old became smitten with Robin. I remember the morning I was awakened at the crack of dawn to my son, standing right next to my bed, his little towhead inches from my face.
“I waked up. Can I be Robin?” he asked to me with those bright blue eyes shining.
At that moment, I had no idea what was in store for me. That for the next two years, this child would live his life as a super hero. After Robin, it was Superman, Spiderman, Zorro, Flash, J’onn J’onzz, Hulk…if Marvel or D.C. Comics created him, we had the costume.
Grandma, the seamstress, was a busy woman, sewing alter-egos for her grandson. I’m sure at some point in her life she had dreams of sewing frilly little dresses for granddaughters (especially since her own daughter was not the frilly dress type), but God chose to bless her with all male grandchildren, so she traded in her lace and bows for capes and masks. (side note: God gave her a granddaughter in 2012.)
We went to the grocery store as Superman, Lowe’s as Batman and the park as Zorro. It was even common to find him asleep in a cape and mask, after he had been tucked in bed in regular p.j.s. The only place I did not let Owen go in costume was church. I’m confident God would’ve been okay with it, but it just didn’t feel right to me.
I remember having women a couple decades my senior come up to me and smile with that knowing smile and say things like, “Oh, I remember that age. My son was always flying off the couch in a cape. Enjoy it. My superhero is 23 now.”
In my mind, my super hero would never grow out of it. He would be flying off the furniture and saving the world from the bad guys forever. And for two solid years, that’s just what he did. Then, one day, he decided to dress in the human clothes in his closet. And eventually, he started wearing boy clothes more often than superhero clothes. Now, it’s a rare day that he dresses in costume; though I can’t bring myself to box them up and put them away.
The other morning, as he was getting ready for school, he said, “Mom, why do you always make me wear these Spiderman shirts. It makes people think I like Spiderman, and I don’t like Spiderman.”
What? Did I hear that right? What happened to my web flinging wall climber? He can’t be growing up. Other people’s kids grow up. Mine aren’t supposed to.
I now realize I am destined to become one of those nice ladies who relives the past as they see young moms buying groceries with their super heroes in tow. I will say things like, ‘Enjoy it while it lasts. They grow up so fast.’ And other phrases that so easily rattle off the tongue of people who have been there.
And I’m sure those young moms will smile at me, but in their minds they will think just as I did, “What a nice lady, but she’s wrong about my son. He will always be a super hero. Only other people’s kids grow up.”