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03/09/2010

Sensibility and Superheros

J0433233  At age three-and-a-half, my son has already been exposed to the influence of other children and it came packaged up like a superhero. The children at my son's daycare first introduced him to Spider-man, Batman, and Superman about a year ago, and he's been hooked on them ever since. It's something I knew he'd eventually stumble upon, but I wasn't ready for it quite yet.

I've supplemented his fascination with the occasional toy or shirt, but haven't moved much past that. We don't have cable, so if those cartoons are on TV, he's not watching them. I'm not familiar with superheros much past the "big" ones (Spider-man, Superman, Batman, Wolverine... etc.) And by familiar, I mean I can identify them when I see them. We haven't really checked out comic books yet--I'm still trying to hold on to Curious George (who he also loves dearly.)

But the other day, something happened that had me realizing that my days of avoiding the comic book superhero world are probably coming to an end. I sent him off to preschool in a new Wolverine shirt with some random other superhero players in the background. He deemed one of the secondary character's as "Captain America"--I went with it. I didn't know, so I said, "Sure! That guy is Captain America!" It kind of looked like Captain America.

Turns out that guy was actually Cyclops. And his friends at school had no problems telling him so. From the way my son told the story--tears welling in his eyes--it was a traumatic part of the day for him. "It's Captain America!" he kept insisting on the way home. (This boy rolls with the punches--and rarely tells me anything about his days. I knew this day was probably worse than the day where he didn't have a chance to be the "ducker" in the game of duck-duck-goose.)

I definitely had some mom guilt going on, even though I know this is going to be hardly a blip on the radar screen of embarrassing situations at the hands of mom. Even so, that night, we looked up all the Marvel and DC superheros on the computer. And next time you see me, don't be surprised if I'm reading The Amazing Spiderman #23.

Once Tela is versed on all things superhero related, you can find her blogging at Working Moms Against Guilt.

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