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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Superheros Don't Have to Wear Capes




I don't tell you enough, Superman, how feverishly proud I am of you.

I don't have the words to express to you the euphoria that comes over me as I watch you take your brother's hand and guide him through the narrow and winding paths that sometimes take him by surprise and cause him to trip.

"I've got it mommy. You just go back to doing what you are doing and I will make sure he is safe," you said to me at the July 4th bbq we attended on Saturday. Such big words from a little boy. Such a sense of responsibility for a brother you love and don't always understand.

But love trancends the words you cannot exchange with one another.

You have the heart of a giant, the hope of someone who has seen good triumph over evil, the patience of a man decades older and wiser than you.

There will come a time, sweet son, when your shoes will sit next to daddy's in the hallway closet, and I will no longer be able to tell them apart. Your hands will be calloused and perfectly fit around the delicate hand of the woman you will claim to love. You will have late night dates, and probably watch the playoffs at some hole in the wall bar with buddies you met at your ivy league university. You will eat all of your spinach and read the Wall Street Journal, and your deep voice will echo through the halls when you walk through the door and yell out "I Love You Mom!"

But you will always be your brother's superhero. You will always be his fierce protector, his greatest fan, his flesh and blood. You have a role to fill that is not an easy one, my son. There are expectations of you that most children your age do not encounter. And though you may not yet understand the gravity of your brother's situation, you know what he needs right now, in this moment: a brother who loves him passionately and treats him with the love and respect he deserves.

He is not a stranger in your eyes when he walks through the door and into a room filled with your friends. You are proud to call him your brother. And I know you will carry that solidarity with you throughout your life.

Because that is who you are.

It is mostly nature.
A little nurture.
The perfect "little big brother" anyone could ever ask for.

I think I hear the dryer buzzing.


Your cape is clean and ready for you.



Even though you're my hero without it.

2 comments:

Lisa said...

That was beautiful.

JJ said...

Ok, where's my tissue?

Witnessing this first hand on 4th of July was an absolute treasure. He is SUCH a warm and loving boy and the way he took care of his brother melted my heart! You SHOULD be proud! You've created a very compassionate and loving little man.