Yesterday, as I raced out of Super Target, heels click clacking on the scarred linoleum (cause my heel tips are worn off), I saw a beleaguered-looking man with a seven year old boy who was spazing out. The man had an expression that said, "beam me up, Scotty....please." This age old scene of depressed parent and goofball kid stopped me in my tracks. Suddenly, I saw my future flash before me, a future where I stood in a crowded Super Target, with a cart full of crap, and a seven year old spaz fighting with his sullen ten year old sister over air space. And I wanted to die.
Look, I understand that parenting is a life long gig and I'm really just getting started, but in that moment, with that stranger's kid banging his head on the cart handle for God only knows why, the reality of this permanent condition sank in. Deep in. So deep, that for a heart beat, I quit. I saw myself cruising right out of Super Target and right into a new life in Canada as a childless Mountie. (I could learn to ride a horse.)
My Canook fantasy was just a moment though, then I snapped back to reality and cruised on back to my house where Sam got to have her first sleepover with her pal, Sam (that's not a typo, they're both named Samantha). I'll save the sleepover for another blog.
I knew before I had kids that parenting was a hard job, but until I had a kid I had no idea how hard. Or frustrating. Or tiring. Or infuriating. Or tear-inducing. No, I had no understanding that there would be a day where I would want to drop kick my four year old or duct tape my one year old to his swing. That in between all the moments of joy there would be moments of sheer panic and desperation.
As I left the store lamenting my very long future of spazie kids, I had an epiphany. The restraint I have shown in not running away or throwing my kids out the window makes me something more than a mere human, it makes me Super Human. Yes, all of us that have children we want to choke the life out of, but don't, that want to slash our wrists and lie in a pool of our own blood just to make the screaming stop, but don't, we are SUPER HUMAN!
And we have super powers, too. We can grab the knife out of a one year old's hand before he makes a single cut, we can step over a fit-throwing child as if they are not even there, we can turn soap and water into a science project, we can read a book to one kid while helping the other with math homework, we can work, clean, laugh, and love, all at the same time.
Yes, there are super powers and then there are super powers. I can't fly, but there are days when I soar. I don't have super physical strength, but my inner strength is unbreakable. I can't see through walls, but I have eyes in the back of my head. I can't stretch myself in to rubbery shapes, but I can balance two kids and a bag of groceries.
I am Super Human. We are Super Human.
So the next time you see a downtrodden parent stuck in the grocery line with a spazie kid, don't just wonder why they can't shut their spaz up or pray that's never you (cause it will be), but give them a smile of understanding that says, "I see you Super Human, and I salute you. "
Vaya con Dios.