I took my kids to see the movie “Sky High” this past weekend. Now, I would have much preferred to see “The Wedding Crashers”, but I don’t want to get my son started too early on the whole ‘running game’ thing. OK…..maybe I do. But for a Disney kids flick, “Sky High” was actually pretty good. And among Mary Elizabeth Winsted (20), Kelly Preston (43) and Lynda Carter (54) – YES, I said Lynda Carter – the movie is very Dad-friendly.
For those of you who don’t have kids, and consequently enjoy the luxury of such things as disposable income, the movie is about a secret high school for the education and training of future super heroes. It’s a novel concept, and the story deals with your usual high school / teenage angst type of dramas.
The movie also got me to thinking about my favorite superheroes. I remember waking up as a kid on Saturday mornings to watch ‘Spider Man and His Amazing Friends’. Spidey was definitely my favorite of them all not because of he could do whatever a spider can, but because one of his amazing friends was Firestar and she was hot! (Do you feel a theme brewing?)
But in all seriousness, what draws us to the fantasy world of superheroes? Why are we so compelled to want to believe in the idea of these characters? I think it’s the same reason we make heroes out of sports figures, movie stars and best friends. It’s the idea of greatness. And who doesn’t want to be great? Who doesn’t want to be Dan Marino rifling another touchdown pass? Who doesn’t want to be Denzel Washington delivering those gut-wrenching lines? Who doesn’t want to be that person who is on the other side of that phone reminding you of all the other great things in life?
And I think we all experience moments of greatness. We all live in pockets of time when things are perfect and wonderful and happy and ….. well, great. Like the connect-the-dots games on the back of the kids menu at a restaurant, life is like a series of moments that by themselves do not make sense, but when strung together in some cosmic order make up something truly meaningful. Everything in between the dots is just static.
In addition to ideas of greatness, heroes also give us hope and allow us to believe that everything will be alright. For me, I find greatness in being with my children. They are my heroes. They make me want to be great, and they make me believe that everything will be OK. I know I am not perfect. I know I may be too hard on them at times. But when I look at them I also know that no matter what lies ahead in life, things will be just fine.
I know that in their eyes I am like a super hero, always there to catch them and save the day. Thankfully they don’t really see when dad trips over a clump of kryptonite, but that’s what secret identities are for, right? I just hope and pray that I continue to be blessed in life, and that God – the Stan Lee of life – grant me the good fortune of one day looking up in admiration at my kids the way they do to me right now. Oh …. wait a minute ….. He already has!