Superheroes Make Everything Better

Last Saturday morning I awoke with a fog in my head. Jonah had been up the night before with a croupy cough, alternating between desperately needing me and then desperately needing Zachary. Eventually he fell into a snotty, coughing sleep in our bed and kicked me until early morning. I knew he slept better with me nearby, though, and snuggling a sick kid may not be as nice as snuggling a healthy kid, but it’s still comforting.

Zachary went off to work before everyone was dressed and I scrambled around the kitchen making shopping lists and looking for my checkbook so I could scribble out the one check I need to write each month.

“Grant, where are your shoes?” I asked as I spied his bare feet. We had two minutes to leave the house to bring the boys to their sports practice.

“I have no idea!” he answered. We have 429 pairs of shoes in this house but no one can ever find the pair they need when it’s time to leave.

“Jonah, did you go to the bathroom?” I yelled into the play room.

“Yes! I goed potty!” he called back. He popped into the kitchen and I saw he was still wearing his beloved new Spiderman costume.

“Jonah, buddy, we need to go. I need you to take off the costume and get your shoes on.” I scanned the counters for my keys. Where were the keys? One minute to leave.

“No! I want to be Spiderman!” Jonah said. He crossed his arms and stuck out his lower lip. Typical strategy.

“Fine, fine. You can wear it IF you get your shoes on right now,” I said. “Isla! Miles! Get in the car!”

“Mom, they are already in the car,” Grant said. Ah, perfect. Time to go.

We dropped the older two boys off at their destination and Isla and Jonah and I took off to squeeze as many errands as possible into our hour before swinging back to get Grant and Miles. First stop – the gas station. The minivan’s “you are almost out of gas, you slacker,” light had come on, and I was in desperate need of a caffeinated beverage.

Jonah was determined to open the door of the store for me, and he used all of his super hero might to push it. A twenty-something man paying for a donut at the checkout got a huge grin on his face and said, “Way to go, Spiderman!” Jonah was mostly oblivious to the attention there, but everyone who saw him smiled.

From there we ventured to the post office. The lone employee at the window gushed all over Jonah and his costume. He was starting to catch on to the effect he was having on strangers and gamely smiled and put his hands on his hips in a display of strength and power before saying “Bye bye!” in his pseudo-booming voice.

Up next was the local farmer’s market. As we passed through a long line of people waiting for somewhat famous pastries, the whispers began.

“Oh my goodness, look at that little boy!”

“He is so cute, what a cute mask.”

Isla helped me pick out a butternut squash while the folks at the farm stand complimented her pretty dress and asked Jonah questions about his costume. The he turned around and faced everyone in line and gestured like Spiderman about to shoot a web from his wrists and someone in the crowd said, “Look! He’s posing!” I felt like we were in our own little parade, with Jonah as grandmaster. His get-up left little rays of sunshine every where we went.

With Isla carrying our squash, leeks and garlic and me carrying Jonah (who can resist a 30-pound hero who asks, “Mama, will you carry you?”), we walked to our final destination – the bank. Normally this is where Jonah melts down. Jumping on the chairs as I fill out the deposit slip, trying ot make a break for the doors, begging for suckers – you name it.

This time, in his disguise, he beguiled the staff and sat and talked for a good ten minutes with a banker. Even took his shoes off to get more comfortable. I think he was trying to get a loan to help support his good-deed lifestyle, but was ultimately denied due to lack of verifiable income. Spiderman doesn’t get regular paychecks, you see.

We had such a stress-free, smile-filled morning while we ran errands, I’m tempted to purposely put him in costumes every time we walk out the door now.



  1. Adorable! It’s hard to resist a tiny superhero – he’d have made my day, too.

  2. Such an adorable post!! And yes, superheroes in this perspective make things better and easier for us somehow! => I’m sad now that I realize I can’t make my kids wear costumes anymore. This is the first year that my son told me, “Mom, I’m not gonna go to a halloween party.” Aargh.

  3. Love love LOVE. Reminds me of the time Claudia insisted on wearing a princess dress and fairy wings to the Mall of America….the attention she got was unreal.

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