How to become a superhero

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A son and a father discuss how to become a superhero. The heartwarming innocence of the son drives the conversation towards a life lesson for the father himself.

Submitted: May 02, 2016

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Submitted: May 02, 2016

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A day off at work is always a great joy to Graham, but doubly so when he can enkoy it together with his son.

A warm glass of milk in front of him, Eric tried to open his hard boiled egg, with the heart-warming determination and slight clumsiness of a child imitating his parents.

Graham smiled and took the seat at the opposite corner of the table.
"Don't be afraid to hit it with your spoon, Eric. You can't eat an egg without breaking it."

"Daddy?"
"Hm-hm?"
"How do you become a superhero?"

He raised one of his eyebrows and waited expectingly for his father's response. Eric was still at an age where he expected his father to know everything. Graham was not keen to disappoint.

"A superhero," Graham smiled, giving the unanswering response.

"Yes. Spiderman got bitten by a spider, but I am not very fond of that. There must be other ways to become a superhero."

"Well. You do not need to become spiderman, Eric."
"What about superman, daddy?"
"Well... He had his superpowers because he came from a planet far far away."

Eric went silent for a moment to stare out of the window.
"Would I get superpowers as well if I move to another planet?"
"I don't know. Maybe your powers would seem super to the people who live their."

"I don't want to go to another planet, daddy."
"Well," Graham answered with a warm smile, "I promise you don't need to move, son."

"But how would I get my superpowers, daddy?"
"Are you sure you need them?"
"Oh daddy,' Eric rolled with his eyes as if he did not understand why his father forgot to pick a superpower, "Of course I do! All superheroes have one."
"O! Have they?"

"Sure, daddy,' Eric exclaimed excitingly, "They all have one! Spiderman can shoot cobwebs from his hands! And the Flash is so very fast daddy! He can outrun a train!"
"They are never on time anyway."
"The Flash is always on time, daddy! And did you ever see the things that the Green Lantern can make? That is so awesome! He has the ring of course, so it is easy for him."
"I have a ring as well, Eric," Graham showed his wedding ring, "and actually I made quite an amazing thing with it as well."

"Did you?" Eric stared at him while enthusiasm and disbelief clearly confused his thoughts and fought a bitter battle for dominance in his mind. "What did you make with it then?"
"You, Eric... Well... together with mom of course."
His son made a dismissive gesture. "Don't be silly daddy! That is not a real superpower!"

"It certainly was the biggest miracle I have ever seen."

"And have you ever seen the Power Rangers fight? Wow! And they have their machines to help them. And superman, daddy! He can do ANYTHING. I don't need to do anything, but if only I could fly or something, that would be a good start to catch the bad guys and save the world."

Graham chuckled and sipped from his cup of coffee. The invigorating aroma of caffeine infiltrated his nostrils and stimulated his waking mind.

"What about Darkwing Duck, Eric?"
"Darkwing Duck?"
"Yes. He is MY favorite superhero, you know?"

Eric's face turned thoughtful and dismissive.
"He doesn't really have a superpower, has he?"

"No, he hasn't," Graham shaked his head gently.
"And he is a bit goofy."

"Making people laugh is a nice power to have, isn't it."

"But you do not catch bad guys with it, daddy."

"You do not, Eric. But isn't Darkwing Duck a superhero to you? Doesn't he catch the bad guys in the end?"

"He doesn't always catch them, but he always wins," Eric admitted.
"I think he is the greatest superhero of them all, Eric. I would really like to have a poster of him in my bedroom, but mom doesn't want to."
"Do you?" Eric looked at him, "Why? He cannot do ANY of the things superman can?"

"Maybe that is why he is the greatest of them all, Eric," Graham paused for a second to let his words sink in for a moment. Then he continued slowly, as not to shock nor break the resisting mindset of his stubborn son, sometimes so much the image of his mother.

"It is easy to be a superhero when you are very strong. Or when you can fly. When you can do things that other people cannot do. But what does it take for someone without all these powers to still be a hero? Isn't Darkwing Duck who we all want to be? Sure he cannot fly and sure he cannot walk upon a wall, but he IS a superhero. Maybe he show us that we do not need superhuman things to do superhuman things."

Eric tilted his head. "Superhuman things?"
"You can do great things even when you are just a normal person, Eric."

"You think I can do it too?"

"Of course you can! Darkwing Duck is like all of us! He is not perfect, he makes mistakes, he cannot do anything no-one else can do. He is a superhero only because he really does things that superheroes do, because he really wants to do them. And he really does them, he doesn't just dream of it or think of it."

Graham raised from his chair and took a towel from underneath the kitchen sink. Gently he touched the nose of his little son and looked him into the eyes.
"All you need Eric, is this cape and a good heart and you'll be a superhero for all of us."

"Do I," Eric exclaimed and he jumped from his seat at the table. Proudly, and with a great sparkle of joy and anticipation in his eyes, he let Graham drape the towel like a cape around his neck.
Soon, he raced outside and ran around the back garden, his hands held wide he let go of his joy.

"LOOK AT ME! I CAN FLY! I CAN FLY!"

Looking from the kitchen, Graham smiled and started cleaning his cup.
"Yes, you can, son," he thought, "Yes, you can. Just don't let your falls discourage you." 

He put his coffee cup back in the closet and looked at the towel he used to clean it. 
His son still running around in excitement, he did not hear Helen enter the kitchen. She gave a startled look at the garden and at Graham himself.

"Graham? What are you doing?"

"Good morning, love. Just my duty, I assure you," he said while kissing Helen on the cheek, "Just my duty."

He attached the towel to his neck, and screaming from the top of his lungs, he ran into the garden, his hands held wide. 


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