Superman Strikes Fear into Villains and Four Year Olds


My nephew was traumatized by Superman when he was four.  

It started like this.  Outside was rainy, so we nestled around the television, popping in the first Superman movie.  Secretly I was as interested in seeing his reaction as I was the movie.  Most take a liking to the red and blue blur when they first see him.  I remember watching the movie and believing that a man could fly!  That first takeoff had me hooked like a piece of Reeses to a chocoholic.

My nephew was no exception.  He was so impressed that he moved closer and closer to the screen as the action progressed.  With each jab, swing, kick, and shot his eyes grew wider and his body edged forward.  Soon his face was inches from the television.  

Usually we would have been annoyed by a head in the view, but watching him was as enjoyable as the movie.  It was like finding the fun of superheroes all over again.  I was right there with my nephew.  A bone shattering punch from the man of steel would result in my nephew’s body jolting and sometimes he would take an imaginary swing of his own.  Part of me wanted to jump up and join him. 
Before us was the adventure of an amazing new discovery. 

Looking back, maybe we should have moved him further away. We weren’t expecting what happened next.  With a leap Superman flew into the air!  

And headed straight toward the screen.

I’ve seen thrillers where the villain is shot, and all action stops while he looks down at his wound with shock in his eyes.  This was my nephew’s exact reaction.  He stumbled back, hands clutched to his chest.  The tears were already leaking down his cheek when he turned and said, “Superman just flew through my body!”

He recovered, but after that day I think he’s always looked at Superman with a bit more caution.  With the hero’s lightning speed my nephew needs to be on the lookout.  He never knows when Superman may fly though him again.

But he keeps looking for new heroes too.  And I know why.  There is a thrill in finding the next thing that hooks you.  And here’s the great part.  

That never changes.  

Despite chances those discoveries may turn out different than originally imagined; sometimes unearthing that new thing results in unexpected twists that defy expectations.  And when the moment strikes, everything catches the imagination.  For some it is finding those larger than life crusaders or being captivated by a game or developing the perfect recipe, for me it is writing thrilling characters.  Whatever it may be for you…relish the adventure of discovery.