Tuesday, 19 June 2012

The Real Super Power

There is an on again/off again debate at my house about super powers. My three sons have been pressing me on what my super power would be. After short reflection I said, Flying. The freedom to soar like a bird, quiet and serene and weightless. Magical. The response? I got it wrong. When I stick to it they give up and ask, OK, what's your second choice? They feel sorry for me and hint strongly that I may want to consider laser vision, psychic blast or invincibility or something else cooly destructive. This is the point in many parenting columns or afterschool specials when someone might decry the violence in TV cartoons, on the internet or in comic books. Not here. That's just boys - they feel powerless and simply fantasize about being in control of their destinies. Nothing to do really with outside influences other than it may dictate the form of those power fantasies.

When you're a middle-aged stay-at-home dad you realize that you never really gain a lot of power and control over your life. In fact I'd argue most men, regardless of status, by the time they reach their forties realize they've been sold a bill of goods about self-actualization and power. That's why so many of them have affairs, are so angry or ride high end bicycles for hours on the weekend. Or all three.

How about other super powers men of my age long for?: Invisibility - the power to be left alone is deeply attractive; Teleportation - avoid long commutes to work, time-eating errands and preserve that increasingly rare commodity - time itself; or how about Time-Sharing - I've often fantasized about the ability to take a day or part of day I might have when I'm 80 and use it now to extend a great day by an hour or two or even not a great day when you just need a little more time to sleep, watch a movie, meet a deadline.

Anyway, back to my second choice. I chose Tickle Power. They scoffed. That wasn't a real super power. I proceded to prove them wrong and reduced each to quivering jelly. Bwa-ha-ha. I felt much better afterwards.