Thursday, April 2, 2015

Will's First Made-up Super Hero

I am amazed daily at the mind of my (just about) 3-year-old son.

I should note here that Will is a little guy. He's only in the 3rd percentile for his height & weight - which isn't that surprising if you know his parents. The kid's just not destined to be an NBA all-star, let's be serious.  

But it's OK that his stature is on the smaller side, because the size of his heart makes up for it. We have had friends comment on how incredibly empathetic he is for his age. As he's gotten older and gotten more language this has become more and more adorable (if he hears a bang from another room, he'll run in and get close to you to ask "Are you OK? You need something? You need a bandaid?" and give you a hug). The other day I took made Evie give him back his smoothie cup that she attempted to usurp, and when she started crying about it he put his arm around her until she calmed down. He snuggles with her in the Costco carts, he hugs Mom & Dad big giant hugs every day, and tries to help when he can.

Will comforting his baby sister... he's so sweet.

And his imagination... oh boy...

That, my friends, is growing every day. And let me tell you - the kid imagines big.

His favorite thing to pretend to be right now is a dinosaur. My little Will hunches over, puts up his dinosaur claws, and in his biggest voice will ROAR! He will stomp around, declare himself a T-Rex, and be the cutest little big dinosaur he can be. There are, of course, times that I need to remind him that it's time for him to be a Library-o-saurus with an "Indoor Roar" rather than a boisterous T-Rex. But it's adorable.

Then there are the times he declares that he is a Football player like Tom Brady. He's going to run to the Super Bowl, be on TV, and then - guess what? Tom Brady is going to wear HIS shirt!! I don't ever tell him that the odds of him breaking 5'6" and becoming an all-time-greatest QB are slim to none. Instead I let him throw on his play football helmet and throw his little football around the house. I flop on the floor and let him tackle me, I help him practice his catching and watch as he figures out how to throw in straight lines.

Every day is a new super hero day here. Some days he's Superman; one day he was Superman and he flew around the kitchen with his cape several times before grabbing my leg to "save me". "I'm saving you! I'm Superman, and I save you! YOU ARE SUPERMOM!".

Okay, I especially liked that one for selfish reasons.

Yesterday, he read me a story about Batman and on the last page said "And Batman flies - LIKE ME!"

I decided that Batman certainly should fly with the power of a 3-year-old's imagination.

Yesterday, however, I met a super hero that a lot of moms probably don't ever meet.

Yesterday I met "Super Peanut Treenut Man" who saved me from the bad guys Peanuts and Treenuts. No, just Peanuts and Walnuts.

I was picking up some potholders and towels that the kids had strewn about the kitchen while I was making breakfast and getting ready to go to my moms' group when Will came barreling around the corner with a little wooden tree from his train set. "MOM!" he cried, "I SAVING YOU! I'M SUPER PEANUTTREENUT MAN!" and he jabbed me in the chest with his wooden tree.

"You're saving me, Buddy?"

"Yes! This is my epi-pen and I'm saving you from bad guys! NO PEANUTS OR TREENUTS! I AM SAVING YOU!!!"

This went on for a few minutes and as he ran away to go save more innocent victims with his tree-epi, I experienced this bizarre dichotomy of emotions. On the one hand, Will is now coming up with his own superheroes and not just emulating the ones that already exist. This is awesome in terms of imagination development, and it's pretty darned cool to see it happen. It makes me feel even more blessed that I get to stay home and watch these guys grow full time. I was excited to see this imagination milestone occur.

On the other hand... my son's world is one in which peanuts and walnuts are "bad guys" that can really hurt him. He doesn't understand that they don't hurt everyone; in fact, when I was getting him out of the car the other day, he reminded me that I can't eat peanuts and treenuts because I can get sick. Every time he throws up, he blames it on peanuts and treenuts because he doesn't understand that "sick" in that instance means "can't breathe, get ambulance ride, go to hospital" and not just throwing up a little. And because this is the world he lives in, when this was the first super hero he came up with on his own... my heart broke a little bit.

I can remember praying with my husband over the health of Will when he was a baby, and praying specifically about food allergies.

Sometimes God says "No" to our prayers, and I know He has His reasons why. God has plans for Will, plans with hope and for good and not disaster. I know this because scripture tell us so in Jeremiah 29:11, and it's a scripture I have always held dear to my heart. I believe in its promise, and I trust in the God that made it.

So while my heart breaks that this is the world that Will lives in, I take comfort in knowing that God has plans for our little guy. I know they are big plans, big plans with his big heart and his big creative imagination.

Who knows... maybe "Super Peanut-Treenut Man" becomes a real, tangible thing someday with Will as the starring role.

Wouldn't that be something?

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