Everyone in my family has a super power—not like Superman, who can fly around and throw cars—more like Batman, who has less traditional powers, like popularizing eccentric outfits with vestigial capes.
My super power is that I can type really fast. Sometimes I do it in front of students, and they inevitably tell me I’m amazing. I try to be humble, but I’m distracted by having to open a window to get rid of the smoke that’s flying off my fingers. A lot of mistakes slip out as I type, but it’s still impressive because I’m typing those errors really fast.
My other super power is that, back in my bible study attending days, I could flip to a book and verse of the bible faster than anyone. I never met my equal. Even if someone called out a verse from a minor prophet, like Habakkuk 2:13, I was there. It’s a hard super power to have, though, because it’s awkward to get to a verse first and call out, “Ha! I’m already there, suckas!”
Colin’s talent is that he has an amazing memory. He’s seven now, and he can recount vacations and events from when he was two. He even remembers when Annabelle was born. Sometimes Colin will tell me a story that feels like a dull memory drifting somewhere in my mind, but then he adds details and polishes it until I’m sure I remember it too. Actually, that sounds more like brainwashing, and my memory’s not so hot, so maybe it is. Now I feel like I’m bragging—because, wow, manipulative brainwashing. That’s a skill to make a mother proud.
Annabelle’s super power is her apology. It’s so well-timed and sweetly stated that it can de-escalate any situation. Sometimes I feel myself bursting with a lecture, anger pulsing through me, and then she looks at me and says, “I’m sorry, Mommy” in the cutest and sincerest little voice, and I’m defused. She could commit grand theft auto and give me that sweet apology, and I’d say, “It’s fine. Just show Mommy the car you stole. Is it parked in the driveway?”
Andy is an amazing sleeper. His head can be falling to the pillow, and he’s snoring before his ear touches cotton. Sometimes he’s so fast that I have to wake him up just to ask, “How do you do that?” I don’t feel bad about this because he’s asleep again in seconds.
When I think about my family’s super powers, I get the uncomfortable feeling that mine aren’t as good as theirs. Maybe hanging on to life’s memories, earning forgiveness, and sleeping soundly are more important than, you know, typing fast. But here is one power I forgot. I used to watch The Princess Bride repeatedly as a child, and I now have the whole film memorized. Inconceivable, you say. But it’s true.
“Hello! My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” You can imagine how often that little nugget proves useful in casual conversation.
That’s still lame. Maybe my super power is surrounding myself with family who have really great super powers. I’d be jealous of them, except that I know something they don’t know. I’m not left handed.
That was a line from The Princess Bride. It might have been a clever ending to this article if, you know, anyone in the world besides me knew the reference.
What I should have said is that having lesser super powers is a hard pill to swallow. But chocolate coating makes it go down easier.
Come on! Who doesn’t know that one? Billy Crystal said it to that hello-my-name-is-Inigo-Montoya-guy.
Nevermind. Let’s just race to Malachi 2:10 and see who can type the verse first. I’d do it with my family, but Colin’s probably memorized the whole book already, Annabelle said, sorry, but she doesn’t want to, and Andy fell asleep before I could finish the sentence.