Jackson informed me he needed new shoes. Only Spiderman shoes would do. He was relentless in his quest. He picked them out himself. And since we bought them on Saturday morning he has only taken them off to bath. And only then under duress. I kid you not! He wore them out of the store. He slept in them Saturday night. We had to put his pajamas on over them. And when he was up at the crack of pre-dawn dark for a potty break he was enthralled with watching them light up – red, flashy spiderlights reflecting off the bathroom tiles.
He has adopted the persona of this superhero that he has never even seen in a film or read about in a book. I am not sure from where his passionate infatuation comes from but it is very real. He likes to refer to himself in the third person: “Mama, you need to be rescued? Spiderman’s gonna rescue you, mama.” “Spiderman doesn’t shower” “Spiderman’s hungry – he needs breakfast!”
Today, Spiderman played ball on the DC mall with two of his best spider-buddies. And of course, was wearing his new spidey shoes:
We are very big on heroes around here. Spiderman, kings, princes, soldiers, truck drivers. They all feature large in Jackson’s imagination. But at the top of his list are: Shepherd-boy-David who dared to fight a giant; David’s best friend Jonathan who bravely befriended the person who would usurp him; the little boy with the 2 fish and 5 loaves who was bold enough to offer to share with a crowd of 5,000; the friends who lowered their sick buddy through a roof in a desperate attempt to get him to a doctor; the shepherd who left a flock behind to go in search of one lost lamb; a man who built a boat in the middle of a desert because he believed God had told him to.
And the little boy who was born in a barn and grew up to be the man who lived and loved and told stories bigger than any movie or cartoon and then died out of a crazy heroic love for my little Spiderman. His mom and dad and little brother. Us. And You too.
That’s what we’re teaching our little superhero in training – tonight you might sleep in shoes that you think make you special, but tomorrow you will learn it’s following in the footsteps of the greatest hero of them all that will win the day.