Bringing that superhero to life

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook page the other night. I love it. I have engaged that superhero on a few occasions this week. And that imaginary friend of mine has been most helpful in allowing me to stick with the word “no “and not beat myself up for it every five minutes. It is a crazy thing that we can feel so confident – ready to take on the world – be an amazing being – and then a second later doubt who we are and what we are doing this with this one, crazy life of ours.

Nonetheless, I can see myself maturing around these thoughts and emotions. The other day, I went to Maria’s soccer game. She started the first half and I cheered her on while sitting with the other moms. The ball got close to her but she didn’t move towards it quickly. I have learned to keep my mouth shut during these games and not yell “come on Maria!” Or “get to that ball!” However, just because I am not yelling it does not mean I am not thinking it. She had a couple of balls hit near her and she just did not have the oopmh to go and grab them. When she got subbed out I went down to her bench to see if her feet were hurting her. She caught me coming and waved me away briskly.

“Mom, no parents are allowed down here!”

I translated that to mean I’m not allowed down there. I could not help myself. I started to turn around but quickly chirped over my shoulder “run after that ball when you get back in there!”

I walked back up the stone steps to sit with the moms. I watched Maria on the bench. She sat with her arm wrapped around one of her soccer friends. And when one of her good friends scored a goal a few minutes later, she jumped up from the bench and cheered her on. She was jumping up-and-down and yelling “great job Lucia!” I thought to myself about how I would react when I was her age. I would have been the one on the bench secretly upset that I did not score the goal. I probably would have given a half cheer, if anything. Yet, here was my daughter, cheering wildly for one of her friends. She has her own personality and her own reasons for playing the sport. She doesn’t necessarily play to be the number one scorer on the team. She enjoys being a good partner on the team and rooting on everybody. Hence why she’s a captain. It is not about her – it is about the team. I thought about this my entire way home. I decided that when Maria walked through the door I was going to apologize. I wanted her to know that my competitiveness got in my way, and that the game was for her – not me. I told her she should play the way she wants to play. God love her that she can be so enthusiastic and sincere for her teammates’ scores. It made me realize, too, how much I thrived for recognition as a kid, which is why it was so hard for me to congratulate others because it took it off of me. Woo, a lot of thinking going into a few words to my daughter but that’s how it gets as I get older. Constantly questioning and trying to understand.

And trying like hell to make sure that superhero is by my side.

Sweet Mario

Top Ten Things I love about my Mario…

10. Your persistence.  When you want something, you will engage in any antics to get it.  Unfortunately, your father and I and even your sister continue to give in to you every time you engage in these antics, be it crying hysterically; yelling madly; throwing your body down onto the floor in mad rage; or begging mercilessly.  I have told you “No more books” at night and then left the room reading five more.  You are good.

9.  Your compact little body. You hop around like a frog; climb up beds and chairs like a spider monkey; dart in and out of rooms like a harried mouse; and twists and turn like a wild snake.  You amaze me with your flexibility; neither your dad, Maria nor I can call flexibility our strong suit.  

8. The way your strong, sinewy legs wrap around my left hip when I reach down with one arm to pick you up just like a baby monkey with his mama.  You remind me of one of those tiny furry animals with a magnetic clip that you pinch and its arms and legs open up and attached to your shirt.  I always wanted one of those….

7. The way you say “thank you mommy” whenever I retrieve your binky for you, get you a glass of milk at bedtime, grab a toy that you cannot find.  You state it with such genuineness and kindness, which makes it even more ingratiating.  

6. Your unadulterated and pure excitement in being naked!  Whether it is running around Maria’s room after a bath, banging your fists in the air and yelling “Arggghhh” and “Naked” with a wicked smile on your face or taking your pants off upstairs while guests are over and slowly coming down the stairs to surprise us with your antic.

Fiesty Mario

5. Your response to me everyday I picked you up from daycare up until two weeks ago.  It was one of two: (a) “I cried mommy” to which I would respond by asking “how much, Mario?” and you replied “just a little” while you held up your thumb and forefinger close together or (b) “No cry, mommy!” with a look of pride.  Two weeks ago, you stopped crying at drop-off.  It is such an amazing and heart-calming change.  Now, as long as I give you lots of kisses, sit with you for a few minutes while you get your breakfast, and make a big ordeal about leaving “Bye, Mario, I will see you in a while, I love you so much, bye Mario and Mario’s friends, love you Mario, bye teachers, see you later….”  then you are fine.

4. How you love animals and nature.  You will stare at the trees until you spot a bird nest around town; you search for the kitty in the crafts and flower store every time we pass; you plead to pet every dog that passes us on the street; you consistently question Peepaw and MamaMeg about the blue birds and horses at their farm; you smell the flowers in the neighbor’s yard when we take our walks responding “Mommy, they smell so good”; and you pat and hug on Cy all the time calling him down the steps in the morning and directing him to sit so that you can give him a treat.

3. Your love for Stauf’s coffee shoppe. Not even being sick with a fever and aches can keep you from wanting to walk

Mario at Stauf's with his bran muffin

 up to Stauf’s for a muffin or bagel with cream cheese.  You people watch and talk to anyone nearby and smile in sweet content at me as you bite into that big heaping muffin or lick all of the cream cheese out of the container.

2. Your affinity for the outdoors. You want to be outside for as long as possible, often throwing a mad fit if we require you to come indoors.  You pick up sticks, dig in the dirt, play basketball, look for Cy’s poop (an activity that both you and your sister enjoy for some strange reason!), find big rocks, ride your bike.  You have a career in the Sierra Club, kid.

1. Your energy! You made it longer than Maria on New Year’s Eve, still dancing around when the ball dropped!  Sometimes I check your back to make sure there is no wind-up mechanism keeping you going.  You don’t sit still for more than a few minutes even when a good show is on the television.  You have to adjust in your seat, stand up and walk around, run in the kitchen to scare me.  Sorry, buddy, you undoubtedly have my ADD, and there is no doubt you are my son. 

I do have to add one more thing and that is your morning greetings.  When dad brings you into me while I lay in bad, you greet me with such enthusiasm and joy singing “Mommy!” and wrapping your arms around my torso.  What a perfect way to start the day.  I love you, little man.

Mario and momma