So what is a superhero?
Well by definition a superhero is a type of heroic character possessing extraordinary talents, supernatural phenomena, or superhuman powers and is dedicated to a moral goal or protecting the public.
The thing is I don’t think the real superheroes are these fictional characters that fly around in capes and fight against crime. Sure they’re the superheroes we looked up to growing up, but I think the real superheroes are those mortals walking among us who live in the service of others. I think moms are the real superheroes. They live in the service of others. They have a primary goal to nurture, protect, and keep their family safe. And the fact that most mothers do this with such grace and ease is what makes them really admirable. Like your Peter Parkers and your Bruce Waynes, mothers move through life making it look easy and effortless, while behind the scenes they’re working feverously to keep it all together. They may travel in a station wagons or mini vans instead of a batmobile, and they make dust walls instead of stick to them, and they make excel at the tiny details instead of the epic battles, but they still live with the same philosophy: to serve and protect others. That is the primal maternal instinct after all. All I know is they deserve some sort of public reception because raising kids, while keeping yourself and your sanity all in one piece is no cakewalk.
So to honour, not only my own mom, but also all the mothers out there fighting crime and keeping the love together on their special day, thank you for all you do, thank you for your service. If it weren’t for you the world would not be standing.
While every son or daughter will have their own reasons why they consider their mom to be a superhero, you may find similarities between my mom and yours. But if you’re wondering…yes my mom is stronger than yours.
So here are 10 reasons why I’m convinced my mom is a superhero:
1. Healing Power & Invisibility.
The truth is I’ve never seen my mom hungover. I just don’t understand how she does it. I mean, is there a point in your maturation with alcohol that you eventually become immune to hangovers? Like menopause in your liver or something? She will be there with the best of them and wake up in spirits like she just slept for 12 hours attached to a cold drop pumping vitamins into her veins. Also, my mom’s ability to become invisible and disappear when inebriated is impressive as well. One minute my mom will be there taking a shot with you, smiling and laughing, but the next minute you’re like “Where did mom go?” and you go upstairs to hear the sound of a freight train snoozing through her bedroom. I think this is because grown ups know how to make the right decisions and cap themselves off even in an inebriated state. While we will drink to excess and stay up way too late eating pizza and trudging through useless YouTube videos — increasing the intensity of our next morning hangover — moms will tap out and cocoon themselves in a pleasant slumber until it all goes away. It’s like we can’t see mom drunk. Nobody is aloud to see it! Well that’s not true. We definitely see mom drunk, but we aren’t aloud to see her past a certain point. That is where the whole invisibility power comes in handy. It’s this ability enjoy the best parts of alcohol without suffering the downfalls, that show my mom has superhuman healing powers.
2. She is a centipede.
My mom has more shoes than she knows what to do with. Even though she has enough footwear to dress a Brady brunch family of centipede fashionistas, she somehow still manages to find room to fit new additions into her closet and suitcase. I swear this is the very reason why my mom has always stressed to me “under packing”. It’s not because I over pack, but rather because she learned that under packing and only filling her suitcase half-full was the only logistical way she could return from a vacation with a dozen new pairs of shoes stuffed into her suitcase. My mom is a superhero because she must have secret legs she only reveals in private.
3. Sonic Screams & Energy Blasts.
A sonic scream is the ability to generate vocal sounds at a higher amplitude than a normal being, while energy blasts are the ability to expel various forms of energy from the body. These powers suit my mom perfectly because she has the ability to stretch her voice to decibels far higher than the average human being, and she does it through the simplest greetings such as “OH HEEEEYYY JAME!!!” She can overpower you with her greetings and enthusiasm in high-pitched shrieks like the energizer bunny is perforating your eardrums. Not only that but my mom has more energy than a teenager on cocaine. I don’t know how she does it; she must have a secret coke habit that nobody knows about because her energy levels are seriously supernatural. The crazy part is that she only drinks decaf coffee. She doesn’t need any support of substances to keep her humming on the dance floor, in the exercise room, and in a new city playing tourist for an afternoon of walking and sightseeing. My mom is a superhero because she has so much energy that being a superhero is the only plausible explanation for the energy octane she operates at on a daily basis.
4. Power Sensing capabilities.
Every great superhero has the ability to sense and feel the power of others. Call it a fifth sense or a hyper-awareness, but all superheroes know everything going on around them at all times. More importantly, they never underestimate an opponent, or a friend. This power is perfect for my mother because she has this innate power and ability to see the good in everyone. She is able to see the strengths and good qualities in friends and she brings those qualities out of them when she’s around. It’s also through this “power sensing” capability that she has always instilled confidence in me to be who I am. Even though I may be that renegade son who moves across the country to write about sex and a live a life seemingly on impulse, she has always been in my corner, never underestimating my passion and faith in the path I’ve chosen. She always reminds me of my strengths and helps me to bring those parts out of myself, even when I’m down and I’ve lost my way. I think that’s a real telling of a superhero, it’s not someone that brings down others and diminishes their own power, but rather someone that is able to see the true power in others and build them up until they can see their true potential. My mom is a superhero because she doesn’t need to bring down her enemies in order to beat them.
5. She has Superhuman Tracking capabilities.
On planet earth we call this stalking. Whether it’s a Facebook check-in, status update, a new relationship status, profile picture update, new blog post, or tweet, moms are on the scene. While they may be dysfunctional with their technopathy super powers (ability to manipulate technology) and literally have zero comprehension of how to appropriately stock their children on social media, my mom sure excels in other areas of stalking. For example: If you take one drive with my mom in Vancouver she will know where every single hockey player on the Canucks lives. Not only that but she will tell you what kind of car they drive. She even re-routes daily afternoon chores in order to show off her superior superhuman tracking abilities AKA. What elementary school their kids attend. She’s basically a ‘Map to the Stars’ tour ride for NHL players. I remember one trip a few years back in Dallas — we had planned our entire trip to Phoenix and Dallas around a Canuck’s road trip. The trip itinerary: stock the Canucks. Of course it wasn’t my idea. I was the Watson to my mom’s Sherlock as we tried to track them down. My mom had actually written down notes in a secret file folder of possible hotels they might be staying at. She had studied blog sites, radio announcements, gossip blogs, newspapers, the team’s website, twitter updates, and whatever clue she could find to narrow down the search to a couple of hotels in the downtown Dallas area. There was one night we literally drove around with a cab driver, racking up an excessive fare, just so we could drive through the U-loop of a few hotels, peer through the cab window, and see if we saw any grizzly suited men in lobby who looked like pro hockey players. While we never did find the Canucks, on that trip I came into full contact with my mother’s super human tracking (stalking) powers.
6. She can breathe fire.
Last year my mom came to visit me in Toronto, and one night she came out with my friends and I to the bar. Once we get inside the bar, my mom looks at me with a wide grin and slyly opens up her purse. Inside her purse nestled a mickey of Fireball whiskey. She then says to me, “You can’t go to bed without first having a shot of fireball!” Not only is my mom a superhero because she smuggled liquor into a bar, but because I now know she breathes cinnamon-fire in her sleep.
7. She knows anything and everything.
This is the super hero power known as ‘Omniscience’, the ability to know anything and everything. On planet earth we call this ‘Gossip’. Moms are great at this. They somehow seem to know everything about everyone. Hell, they even know everything about people they haven’t even met. Now that’s what you call a supernatural ability. Whether it’s through book clubs, dinner parties, exercise classes, girl’s trips, wine chats, moms have their ears on everything. I like to think of mom’s as “social encyclopedias”. They’re there to help you with updates (through said activities aforementioned) about what other people are up to when you lose touch and contact with friends from your past. My mom will be like “Oh hey did you hear so and so is getting married?” “Did you hear about so and so is living in this city for this job?” “Have you seen his girlfriend? She’s so freaking adorable!” My mom is a superhero because she knows more about my friends than I do.
8. She flies everywhere.
Like all great superheroes, my mom logs some serious air travel. I don’t know anyone who moves through the air more than she does. Every month she’s heading off to somewhere new. And while she doesn’t travel to serve and protect humanity on a global scale, she sure travels to keep the wine businesses afloat in every new country she visits. But seriously, with the amount of frequent flyer miles my mom has racked up, she definitely deserves “superhero flyer status”. Come to think of it, airlines should probably knight their most loyal flyers with capes mid-flight.
9. Echolocation (Sonar or Radar Sense).
This is known as the superhero ability to determine the location of objects in the environment by use of reflected sound waves, whether generated by the character or ambient sound. Okay, this suits my mom and all moms so perfectly. Moms are household navigation guides for finding family members, particular for finding dad (the most difficult family member to locate). Dad is always somewhere. His current location will almost always directly follow a preposition. “Dad is UNDER the car” “Dad is IN the garage” “Dad is ON the roof” “Dad is AROUND the back” “Dad is BESIDE the BBQ”. The crazy part is that mom always knows where dad is. You stumble around your house frantically yelling and trying to find your father, while mom is in the kitchen whistling and baking cupcakes and she can always instantly tell you what household madness your father is up to. And her superhero senses aren’t just limited to locating dad; it goes for all family members as well. “Oh your sister, yeah she had a 1:45PM appointment to get her nails done and then she’s going for lunch with these four friends to celebrate this occasion”. Thank you mom. If it weren’t for your supernatural sonar and radar sense I would never be able to locate dad and all other members of the family.
10. She can be at a million places at once.
My mom must create portals and move through secret wormholes because she always seems like she’s doing a million things at once in a million places at the same time. She works at superhuman speed and would exhaust even the most productive of superheroes. I remember growing up, I’d come home after my day and mom has taken care of EVERYTHING…dinner was on the stove, the house was clean, the laundry was done, she’d done hours of work on the computer for her job, she’d taken a spin class and played two hours of tennis, she’d booked our next three family vacations, she had sent out an email thread to our entire extended family saying how we should all keep in touch more and booked the next family get-together, she’d read an entire book for her book club, planned her entire month plus every other person in the family’s months as well, she’d bought me new socks and underwear (I never asked but she just knew I needed them), and she now was in the kitchen cooking, full of zest, smiles, and energy, to feed everyone else who probably did nothing more than one thing the entire day. There is no way to possibly explain this rate of productivity other than to say she has the ability to travel through secret wormholes and portals that allow her to do all these things simultaneously. My mom is a superhero because she makes being in a million places at once look so easy.
So yeah…maybe my mom doesn’t have X-ray or night vision, she’s not particularly agile, she may be hard of hearing at times, and she definitely does not know how to operate technology. And she may not travel in a fancy superhero suit, or wear cool superhero glasses, or even have any cool superhero sayings, but my mom still embodies the qualities of a superhero. For that reason I’m willing to look past the entourage of “mom likes” on Facebook and how she has this habit of liking every single thing I post (the worst is when mom is the ONLY ONE to like a status because you know she probably didn’t even read the dam thing but just was like “OH MY GOD! MY DEAR SON JUST POSTED SOMETHING!! Love you hunny!” which is clearly a very bias reaction, “I gave this poor kid life, now I’m going to promote the shit out of him). I know that everything she does comes from a place of love, even if it may irritate and annoy me. If monsters scare because they care, then moms pester because they care. Moms care more than anyone. It’s their job.
Growing up I used to read about superheroes in comic books and watch them in cartoons and in movies, but as I got older, I learned the real superhero was standing right in front of me all along.
Happy mothers day, Mom!
Thank you for being my superhero all these years.