When I taught fifth grade, one of the topics we would discuss is what super power we would like to have. Invisibility was a big one among 11 year olds, as they envisioned being up to stay up late playing video games with no one knowing. I personally voted for being a human flame; although I told the kids it was to make s’mores at will, it was really to shoot my flames at anyone who got in my way (especially in parking lots).
Sometimes people refer to ADHD as a superpower. I’m not sure I agree with that; I feel like a superpower should have only upside, and as we know, ADHD has its downsides too. That would be like saying my anxiety is a superpower, because I’m prepared for any worst case scenario. Sure, it’s come in handy to be ready for disaster, but the accompanying jaw clenching and worry is enough of a problem to take away superpower status, in my opinion.
But although I may not have a classic superpower, I do feel like I am a Super Heroine. I was a superhero in my role as a teacher, trying to tirelessly help kids learn, giving them a safe place to land, and listening to their feelings when others didn’t. Was I perfect? No way. But I did my best, and that, to me, is a superhero quality.
I truly believe that in our roles, we can be superheroes and heroines. Did we make someone laugh today? Did we help our kids with their homework? Get a jar of gravy off of a high shelf for an elderly person? Encourage someone to have hope? Listen to a client or friend, so that they felt heard?
All of these things, and more, allow us to gain Super Hero status. And the more we try to do our best in our roles, the more we try to learn and improve and be present for those that are in our lives, the larger and more colorful our capes become.
So I still wouldn’t mind being able to shoot flames out of my fingers when someone cuts the line at Trader Joe’s. But maybe I’m enough of a Super Heroine to let it go-this time.