NOW it’s super glue.June 20, 2011
As a father of two little girls, my life has become one long series of dress-up tea parties. We have a box full of old dresses, hats, tiaras, costume jewelry, and feather boas. Last Christmas, in an attempt to add something with a little more zing to the dress-up box, I found a wonderful superhero cape for our four-year-old, Abby. The cape itself is a pink velvety material with a purple shield/lightening bolt logo. It has worked wonderfully to spark a whole new series of (Daddy friendly) games and fun.
A few weeks ago, Abby was zooming around the front yard in her pajamas and pink cape. In the middle of whatever adventures she was having, she found a small bird laying on the ground under one of the bedroom windows.
It was dead.
Abby spotted the bird and announced, “This is a job for… SUPER-ABBY!”
Then she spread her arms, closed her eyes, and dramatically shouted, “FLY!”
… and nothing happened.
She opened her eyes and looked at the bird, still lying in the grass. Puzzled, she slowly undid the velcro on the cape and took it off. She handed the cape to her Mother and (in the most serious four-year-old voice imaginable) said, “I guess I can’t be Super-Abby. Ever again.”
Don’t worry – she has been Super-Abby again (and again and again and again). She overcame the initial shock of finding out that the costume didn’t guarantee the powers. She has even startled some other (merely stunned) birds back into flight over the past few weeks.
For Abby, the dead bird on the lawn was a good opportunity to briefly think and ask about death and faith and setbacks and all the other grand themes of the universe.
For my part, I know that she is growing up fast. This particular incident made me realize it more than ever before. Soon she will be starting school. Then finishing it. Then college, marriage, and children of her own. But no matter what, she will always be the little girl wearing footed pajamas and a hot pink cape – trying to resurrect birds.