11 March 2014

The Simplicity of Being a Superhero

from Cleveland Heights, OH, USA
Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Niko has been stuck on superheros for a little while now, as I imagine all children do from time to time. We have a growing collection of figures, from Batman to Spiderman and the Avengers to the small fortune of Star Wars toys he's collected from old stashes and recent trips to the store, and we spend a good chunk of our television time perusing the associated programs and short movies.

But if you ask Niko what being a superhero means, he has some pretty great answers. Aside from having superpowers like flying or being really, really smart, he knows that superheros are good guys - even the lady superheros, good "guys," too - who thwart, fight, destroy, and foil their supervillian opponents.

Superheros are good.

When he's being sweet (hey, he's three - it's a mixed bag), sometimes he tells me I'm his superhero.. because I'm good. Even when I'm having the worst of days, the fact that my interactions with him brand me as one of the good guys makes my heart melt, and I can't do much but oblige him with some superhero play. Sometimes we fight each other in battles of epic proportion (one of us usually has to be a bad guy, and the other is a good guy - he *always* gets the lightsaber, though), but sometimes we save people together, whether they're stuck on the wooden train set that's about to be derailed or Rex (who he named after Rex from Toy Story, but it's actually a one-armed Jurassic Park Tyrannosaurus rex) is about to crush their little abodes Godzilla-style. We save the day - together! All because we are the good guys.

My Super Hero!
 Niko tells me the real reason I'm his superhero is because I give him cereal (organic, gluten-free, as he likes to specify), and I read him stories, and because he loves me, which is maybe the best reason of all. I am certain that his love of do-gooding continue to flourish.
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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama
Visit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon March 11 with all the carnival links.)
  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn't have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of "superheroes," ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte's little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she's learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone's Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone's hero. Read Mandy's lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter's superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don't Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka "Hot Mom") asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It's not heroic when you're living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.


  1. Love that you're his superhero because you give him cereal! Sounds like what my older son would say. We're big superhero fans here, too, and I do think it's interesting that Mikko never wants to be the bad guy.

    1. Niko will occasionally be the bad guy, but only Darth Vader, and only so he can cut my hand off (regardless of which hero I might be playing).

  2. It's always so validating to get high praise from a child, since their raw honesty is usually something we can rely on no matter the mood. You've always been super to me, but I think his reasons are way cooler. <3

  3. I love your son's sweet reasons for thinking you're a superhero! It's awesome that his image of superheroes is of the good guys. :)

  4. This is wonderful, I love the reasons you are his superhero, shows exactly what is important to him, food, stories and love :)

  5. Kieran used to make me play superheroes all.the.time. zomg I was so tired of superheroes. And now reading this I'm feeling just the teeniest bit nostalgic about it. Just a little :)

  6. Little sweety… My boy went through a bug superhero phase, then he only wanted to be "bad guys" - funny though, when I asked him what bad things he did, he would look at me sheepishly and say, "Mommmm, I'm just a bad guy, I don't do bad things!!!" Love our little people :)

  7. We are in the superhero stage here as well and it's just glorious. I love watching the characteristics of a superhero develop in my son... I think they are wonderful traits of protection and justice. And although there are moments when I really wish I didn't *have* to take Batman to the grocery again, these are moments I know I will wish for once he's grown!