Four year old asks, “Is Superman Real?”

Yesterday, we all watched Superman I from the ’70s (Christopher Reeves version). Right now we are watching Superman III.

All four kids are on top of me.
Not sure how.

In less than three weeks my third child, Caleb, will turn 5 years old. Old Father Time is certainly staring over my shoulder at this golden hair child who has already completed two seasons of U8 soccer and two summers of Swim Team. He currently spends his days happily doing backflips on the trampoline, beating his highest score on Temple Run, performing stunts on the playground, playing basketball with his older brother and thinking of abstract questions such as “Do dreams exist only in your brain?”

But right now he’s sucking his thumb and twirling his night night blankie as we watch the movie together. And I suddenly remember that he’s only existed on earth for four years.

All of the kids are entrenched in the scene where a little boy has fainted in the tall wheat field. But, danger! Threshers are speeding towards him! The driver can’t see the collapsed child!

At the last second, Superman arrives, stops the machine mere feet from the child, scoops him up and flies away.

Caleb, snuggled against my side, pulls his thumb from his mouth and glances up. His eyes are a rich chocolate brown, much darker and rounder than my other children.

“Mom, is Superman real in this world?” he asks slowly.

The way he pieces his sentences together always warms me. His voice, so cute. Young. Melodic. My other children have their own talents, but Caleb’s linguistic grasp of English makes me wonder if he will be a renown orator someday. Or perhaps a writer. Funny how we parlay our own hopes and dreams on the imagined future of tiny humans, as if we had any real say in their intricate life stories.

“No baby….. he’s not.” I push his blond surfer bangs from his eyesbrows, noting yet again that I need to get them trimmed. Actually, all four kids need haircuts. And Kevin just asked me yesterday to cut his.

“I wish he was.” Caleb replied, in a voice that sounded sad. Wistful. Ancient. And then popped his thumb back in his mouth, picked up the fuzzy edge of his night night with his other hand and began to stroke it slowly over his cheek.

Author: Lisa Cole

Lisa Cole is a freelance writer and social media specialist skilled in non-profit marketing and grass roots advertising. This mother of four weaves humor, emotion and depth into stories about parenthood and life in the American South.