Men of Steel

Men of Steel

by Kim Washburn

Kids know there’s nothing that can keep Daddy down for long.

One Wednesday morning, I realized I wanted to pick up my daughter from school as much as I wanted to take a mid-winter dip in the English Channel. Kindergarten isn’t usually intimidating, but I knew this day wasn’t going to be pretty.

As the 5-year-olds filed out of the classroom, I wiped my palms on my jeans, flashed my most winning smile and held my breath.

My daughter’s eyes connected with mine . . . and she burst into tears.

Looking at the other mothers, I felt compelled to explain. “She thought her daddy was picking her up,” I conceded. They all nodded knowingly.

How can Mom compete with Superman? My children have always been partial to their hero. Embarking on life without training wheels, they confidently count on his power boost as well as his safety net (and his patience). They watch in awe as he removes spiders with an unwavering cool their mom will never possess. And they hang on him like geckos as he leaps tall buildings (or at least climbs the stairs) in a single bound.

So the other day when birthday packages arrived on the porch wrapped in industrial-strength tape, Superman was the one for the job. Of course, he succeeded—but not before accidentally sinking the points of the scissors dangerously deep into his forearm. My husband heroically made it into the bathroom and then promptly fainted. Twice.

Hoping to boost his blood sugar, I gave him a couple Fig Newtons as he recuperated on the tile floor. Undoubtedly, he would get stitched up as soon as he could regain consciousness and his sense of humor. But at the moment, he remained pale and bloody. So my 4-year-old son stepped in. He leaned down, took a deep breath and whispered in Superman’s ear, “Can I have a Fig Newton?”

Clearly my son wasn’t worried. After all, there’s not much that will keep a daddy down.

Kim Washburn is a mother of three in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Pull Quote:
How can Mom compete with Superman?

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