Heros

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When one is very young, only the truly simple things are valued. One overly enjoys cake and ice cream. Cartoons are vastly important to everyday life as well as playing outside, pretending, and that first day of preschool. The majority of small children hate taking naps and vegetables. But all of them at least once in their small lives want to be a superhero.

I will honestly admit to being one of those kids. I loved the classics; Gumby, Power Rangers, and Sesame Street. I pranced around pretending to be a Pink-Power-Ranger-Princess. I loved dessert and my Daddy. My ultimate favorite activity was going to the park.

There is one time I specifically remember. It was the spring that I was four year old. My brother and I loved the park, almost as much as we loved our superhero capes. Luke’s cape was jet black and had come with the Batman costume he had owned for as long as I can remember. My cape was red. It was Luke’s hand-me-down Superman cape that I wore with pride. Luke only allowed me to wear it when he was playing Peter Pan, or when his best friend wasn’t around to be Superman. I was never Superman. Luke’s reasoning was because I was a girl I could not be Superman, because Superman, well, he was a man that was super. I constantly got stuck as Robin, Batman’s lousy acrobatic sidekick.

It was a nice sunny day that wasn’t too hot. I remember driving through Aurora, seeing the park equipment through the trees and buildings. Oh man, was I anxious to get there. The drive lasted forever, but we made it. Quickly my brother and I, Batman and Robin, popped out of the “Bat mobile” and jumped for joy. What a sight it must have been seeing a little boy dressed as Batman, with a jet black signature ‘90’s mullet running screaming with an Indian war cry, followed by a little pale red headed girl wearing a Mini Mouse jumpsuit and a red cape imitating his every move. The excitement on our little faces must have been enough to make even a mime yell with sheer excitement.

This particular Aurora Park visit was to be especially fun. I was a super hero; actually in public, being seen! We had some ninja weaponry training throwing rocks, then some dangerous building jumping on the small swing set. Then the biggest challenge, the slide.

The slide was red and silver. It was a slide defiantly made in the 1970’s, those traditional things, which have long since been removed by park board mothers. It had fourteen steps up the right side, I always had to count them. The slide began with a small tunnel and opened into a plain metal sheerness. The slide itself was a U-shape. It seemed massive to me. There were even railings at the top keeping all unsuspecting children from falling to their deaths. I was afraid the slide would be hot from the sun, and my brother yelled down that I was a baby. Ha! Robin is not a baby! I followed the false Batman up the silver steps, counting as loud as I could. Babies couldn’t count like me. At the top Luke, always fearless, climbed the railing and looked down. I was more timid and simply shrieked down towards Earth,
“Mommy, there are fourteen steps!”
Luke called me a baby again, so I climbed the railing. The trouble had begun.

My mother told us not to fall, and not to climb anymore, a typical mother thing. Luke turned to me and said,

“Hey Niki, you should jump.”
The ground shrunk away. My mother was now an ant on the far away grass.
“No way!” I said. He was not convinced.
“You can fly, you are Robin.” He responded. I was not reassured.
“You’re Batman, you go first.” I was for sure I had gotten him then.
“Quit being a sissy” Oh, so I was a sissy.
“But I’ve never flown before, you go first. I don’t think I can do it.” The peer pressure was intense. He replied as any older brother would to a feeble younger sister.
“I’ll give you a push.”
I asked for some fairy dust, Luke corrected me saying that fairy dust was in Peter Pan, not Batman, and that superheroes wear capes because superheroes need them to fly. Apparently this was logic that I had always over looked.
“Okay” I sighed.
I climbed the railing, secretly knowing I was going to fall and die and that since I was a mere side kick, I would be left; flat on the ground. I crossed over the railing and had my little feet on the outside rail. Then out of nowhere I hear it.

“Niki Lynn! What do you think you are doing?”
Oh, yea, that was my mom. I’d forgotten all about her.

“I’m flying” I yelled down to her. How could this woman not see that clearly I was about to take off and fly into the sun?

“Benjamin Lukas! Why are you telling her to do these things!” she chastised him, while I was being pulled, somehow, down the slide by my ankle. I realized, sometime between the sudden jerk off the rail and the pull down the slide that four year olds do not fly. At the bottom of the slide, I tore off the cape. The elastic was beginning to hurt my neck. I was agitated and remember screaming “Let’s leave.” I probably only got into more trouble. I’m not sure exactly what happened the rest of the time at the park, but I know I was extremely mad when we left.

Since then, I’ve grown to understand brothers are really jerks trying to provoke stupid little sisters to do dangerous stunts just for humor. Upon this realization, no longer do I play superheroes. I am probably too old anyways, but I did learn my lesson. At the time I thought it was four year olds cannot fly, but I’ve had many years to re-evaluate that day. The lesson from the park is simple. The difference between a four year old and a super hero is that a super hero doesn’t grow up with an evil villain as an older brother.





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