Why I Can’t Fly

I think Lucy has super-powers. I know-I know, it’s crazy, but she does things… super-crazy, supernatural, super-powery things, that are quite frankly – – unexplainable. Had I been able to recognize her potential as a superhero sooner, we could very well be living in some super swanky underground bunker/fortress/hideout/cave, with aliens, Bigfoot, a slide and Tang… lots and lots of Tang.

As I sit here writing this, Lucy is probably the world’s greatest unmasked superhero and she’s only three. The signs were always there, but at the time, I just didn’t know they were “powers.” There was that time, when she fell out of her crib (head first) and landed on her feet. “Cat like” reflexes? BAM! Superpower. On another occasion she spotted a twenty-dollar bill in the park, from the stroller, a hundred yards away…”Hawk like” vision? POW! Superpower. Last Spring she memorized Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” (words and moves) after watching the video once! Ummm… you ever heard of something called “Photographic Memory?” Well, if you haven’t shame on you ’cause KABLAMMO! That’s a superpower my friends! A superpower.

Now I’ll admit individually these were all just intriguing instances of circumstance. Maybe it was luck that she landed on her feet and found that money. And yes, I fully realize that the lyrical content of “Single Ladies” is a tad elementary and the dance moves were originally choreographed for a post menopausal workout video from the early 80’s, so of course I was skeptical. Soon months had passed without incident and to be honest, I had completely forgotten all about Lucy’s untapped potential, until last week. That’s when I accidentally ran her over with the stroller.

“What did you run me over for?” She said.

“I didn’t.” Yes I did. “You stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.” I wasn’t paying attention. “Look you scared your sister, she’s crying.” She was laughing.

“It’s not funny, I didn’t like that.”

“I’m sorry. Are you okay?” She nods in a forgiving way, brushes the dirt from her pants and merrily continues down the side walk toward the park. I quickly check Ruby for any post traumatic symptoms that may be lingering as a result of this awkward collision. She easily follows my finger from left to right, up and down. I conclude that she has suffered no permanent damage, which is something that I cannot say about the front of the stroller. One of the wheels had been buckled under; the plastic foot tray was cracked and a metal brace was bent. BENT! It looked like it was just thrown off the top of Mt. Everest and then stepped on by Optimus Prime. This was not a cheap stroller, it was German. I believe for an extra $30 we could’ve had it equipped with airbags and On Star…

Operator: “Hello Mr. Jim, this is On Star. Our technology shows that your stroller air bags have been deployed and according to our impact sensors it appears that you’ve hit a tank. We have notified all emergency response teams and they are on their way. I will stay on the line until they reach you.”

Me: “No tank… (Static)… It was (heavy breathing)… A three year old. I was hit by a … (inaudible mumbling something-something Steve Guttenberg)…..three year old.”

O: “I’m sorry; did you say you were hit by Steve Guttenberg?”

Me: “……… (Gasp)……She just walked away…walked away.”

I look back over my shoulder. There she stood innocently assessing the damage she had unwillingly caused to this fine piece of machinery. Now it is possible that most, if not all of the damage to the stroller was done last Saturday when I backed over it with the car, but it still ran her over, and she was still unhurt. I think she may very well be indestructible… She was awesome! It was the final piece of the puzzle. My theory had finally been confirmed. I’ve produced a superhero.

With our newly mangled stroller we turn around and head for home. It was a quiet walk by most standards; I think we were all trying to figure out the easiest way to discuss what has just happened. It was Ruby who made the first attempt at communication when she started to sing, what I’m almost positive to be a Korean version of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” maybe she did have a concussion?

“Daddy, wanna see me jump?” I watch as she uses every muscle in her body to amass a two inch vertical leap. I can do better than that, way better. Maybe I’m a superhero? “I can jump high, ’cause I’m a superhero.” Whoa, whoa, whoa… Did she say what I think she said? She knows? No, that can’t be. That shouldn’t be. Not now, she shouldn’t know now! She’s not supposed to find out until high school…during gym class. You know, like when she impales a volleyball into the floor at the feet of the super popular, but uptight and pretentious Prom Queen Courtney Lynn Sinclaire. This happens moments after she finds out it was Courtney who spread a nasty rumor about Lucy and everybody’s All-American Quarterback Jefferson “To the Max” Wellington. That’s when she’s supposed to realize she’s different, not now. She’s too young. She’ll crumble under the pressure. She’ll crumble, find a way to resent me and become evil. Plus she doesn’t have an awesome name yet. Or does she?

“Oh, so you’re a superhero? Well if you’re a superhero, what’s your superhero name?” Please don’t have one, please don’t have one, please don’t….

“I’m Superhero Mommy-Girl Lucy Goose.” Oh come on! That’s horrible! It says nothing about her attributes. How can that awful name even be turned into a logo? She’ll never be taken seriously. I’ve gotta change this, quickly. I take a deep breath and begin the reprogramming process.

“So, if you’re a superhero, what are your superpowers?”

“Well, I can jump really high, and I can run really-really fast. But most of all I can help un-stick people when they get glued to their cars.” Good lord, if unsticking people from their cars is how she plans on utilizing her superpowers, then she’s in worse shape than I thought. Let’s face it, she still young, she has a lot of wiggle room here. Other than the name she’s got all the tools to be the perfect superhero: Strength, size, brain power, vision, she’s extremely polite and more than courteous.

“Dad if you were a superhero, what would be your superpower?” I thought hard about this question. I thought about invisibility, X-ray vision and the ability to read minds, but at the end of the day, it was the grand-daddy of them all that I craved… I wanted to fly.

“I guess if I had to pick one, I think I’d wanna fly.” If I would’ve chosen to read minds, I probably would have seen this coming.

“Daddy, that’s a little bit crazy. Don’t you think you’re a little too fat to fly?” As if that wasn’t insulting enough, she followed it with, “Maybe you could just, you know, push things.” Seriously? That’s not even a power. And now because of that unprofessional remark, I have to answer the same question every morning.

“Daddy why are you exercising on the bike today?”

“I’m doing it for the same reason I do it every day… I wanna be light enough to fly.”

“Well you’re gonna have to ride for a lot longer, ya know?”

I am officially her nemesis.

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