I'm Supernan. It's true; I'm a superhero. I became aware of my super abilities only recently. It came as quite a shock actually, because I have never been particularly athletic or prone to heroics. My physical prowess was always limited to some small skill in volleyball and bowling, and that was when I was a teenager. Nowadays, about the most strenuous thing I can manage is a leisurely walk around the block pushing a stroller (and even that less than Olympian activity primes me for a nap). Never the less, in recent days it has come to my attention that I am capable of superhuman feats beyond the abilities of mere mortals. Perhaps I have always been capable of the impossible, but just never knew it. More likely, I have only recently acquired such powers, through agents or agencies unknown, and it came upon me so gradually that I was unaware of my special-ness until it was too obvious to be ignored. It is always thus. The gifted have greatness thrust upon them and are no more able to resist their destiny than Forest Gump. Feathers in the wind.
So the fact is, I am now Supernan. And what, you may ask, has prompted me to leap to such an unusual conclusion? The evidence is apparent and overwhelming. I have known for some time that my powers of hearing have increased, in fact risen to the level of super ability, and I wrote about it in an earlier post (see I Heard That -May 19th). But that can be attributed to several possible causes which have nothing to do with my being superhuman. On the other hand, in light of recent events, my superhuman-ness cannot be totally discounted as the origin of this ability, and I am reserving judgement at this point. Super hearing is not all that impressive or useful anyway. I can think of a lot of powers more desirable, like a beam of energy from your eyes, maybe, or the ability to move objects with your mind. I don't see anything like either of those as being likely, however, and there is no evidence that I have acquired such gifts, at least not as of right now. So let me tell you of the powers I do have. I discovered them just the other day and it's incredible really.
Here is what happened. I had gone to the kitchen to refill Kiley's sippy cup with apple juice. She was out in the family room, which connects to the kitchen, with a half-wall between them. She is close to eleven months old now and getting pretty good at getting around. She's a big climber too, as I've mentioned before, and you have to keep half an eye on her at all times or she might end up standing on top of the TV or tight roping along the back of the sofa. We have a sectional sofa in the family room, one of those "L" shaped deals, with a big ottoman that I push into the angle of the "L" to create a larger open floor area in the family room for Kiley to play in. It also creates a wide expanse of cushiony sofa/ottoman for Kiley to romp on.
Like I said, she likes to climb and this cushiony plateau is ideal for her to indulge that desire. She gets up there and runs around on the plushy softness and we wrestle and roughhouse up there where a fall onto the cushions is fun for her. I don't let her up there unless I am with her because the fall from the plateau to the floor is eighteen inches and could result in a serious boo-boo. However, I am of the opinion that it is desirable to allow small children to indulge in somewhat risky behavior, as long as you are there to supervise and prevent any ridiculousness. It's important for them as they grow, to be encouraged to be confident in experimenting and in exploring the world. This is especially true for girls who are not as naturally inclined to risky behavior as are boys. (Anyone who has raised boys knows exactly what I am talking about). Risk takers are winners, and besides, "a child without courage is like a night without stars." For this reason we often play such little games as "Superbaby!!!!" When playing "Superbaby!!!!", Kiley stands on the plateau while I kneel in front of it on the floor. She then runs, or the eleven-month-old equivalent there of, and dives off the ottoman into my waiting arms while I yell "Superbaby!!!!". At not quite eleven months old the "dive" off of the ottoman is more like a "fall" off of the ottoman, but you get the idea. It's fun for her.
Well, like I said, I had gone to the kitchen to refill her sippy cup and Kiley was in the family room about fifteen feet away, watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. As I am returning the apple juice container to the fridge, having refilled "sippy", I catch motion in my peripheral vision. I turn to see Kiley peering over the half-wall at me, which can only mean one thing - she is standing on the ottoman! Boy, are they quick when they want to be! As our eyes meet, time stands still, and I realize that those are not the sweet, innocent, eyes of Kiley that I am looking into, they are the daring, fearless eyes of "Superbaby!!!!". Oh, sh_t!
Everything seems to move in slow motion. I don't remember dropping the sippy cup as I begin to move toward Kiley, but I remember hearing it hit the kitchen floor and the splashing sound it made before I had finished my first step. Kiley has, at this point, turned her head away from me, and begun, again in seemingly slow motion, to move forward. Using my "I mean business" voice, I yell her name, but she doesn't even seem to hear me as she takes a step toward the edge of the ottoman. By the time I take two more running steps and reach the end of the half-wall, "Superbaby!!!!" has reached the edge of the ottoman, and I realize, "I am not going to make it!" Stopping her from taking the fateful leap is no longer possible. "Superbaby!!!!" is about to fly. The only hope now is to break her fall, but I immediately realize that this is impossible too. At this critical juncture there is a good ten feet and the arm of the sofa separating us, and she is beginning her leap. If I was eighteen and everything went absolutely right, I could possibly dive over the arm of the sofa and, reaching out, get one hand under her before she hit the floor. But I haven't been eighteen for forty years and there is no way I can "dive" even half that distance. Still, desperation is the mother of hope, and as "Superbaby!!!!" takes flight, I dive.
As my feet leave the safety of the floor, I remember thinking, in a surprisingly calm way, that I'm probably only going to make it about halfway to my preferred destination. This means I will probably land with my abdomen on the arm of the sofa, breaking a fifty-eight year old rib or two and possibly sustaining internal injuries. At this particular moment, I am probably in more danger of injury than Kiley is. But, amazingly, this does not happen. I clear the arm of the sofa with room to spare and manage to get not just one hand but both hands under Kiley before she gets anywhere near the floor! Incredible!
I'm stunned for a moment. I'm lying there on the floor, on my stomach, with my knees and feet on the sofa. Kiley is laughing and attempting to climb back up onto the ottoman for another "go" when I suddenly realize what has just happened. You, sitting and reading this in the safety and comfort of your own home, no doubt immediately saw the reality of what had transpired. With all of the excitement and stress, however, it took me a few moments to realize it. The fact remains that there is no possible way that I could have made that dive half way across the family room in the wink of an eye, not at my age. There can only be one possible conclusion – I flew! Yes, you must see it too. I flew! I can fly! And I have super speed too! But that is secondary to the fact that I can fly. I've always wanted to be able to fly, ever since I was a kid. Who hasn't? And now I can! I can fly! I CAN FLYYYYYY!!!!!!! When I told my husband about it he looked dubious, so I offered to prove it to him by jumping off the garage roof, in fact I insisted on it. He held me down until I promised not to, but he will be working this coming weekend and I'll give it a go then.
So now I'm Supernan with super speed and the ability to fly. The only thing to do now is to hone my flying skills and figure out what to do with my super-ness. Crime fighting is so passe'. It will have to be something bigger, something for the benefit of all mankind. Maybe I can figure out a way to simultaneously finish the XL Pipeline and halt global warming, you know, placate the green and pro-energy movements at the same time and shut them both up for a change. I'll have to come up with a super hero uniform, though. I'm leaning toward something in a pink spandex with a big "N" on the chest. Getting my butt to look good in spandex might be a challenge but I'm starting to think I can probably do just about anything. After all, I can fly can't I?