"One afternoon I watched as two-year old McKay donned a scarf and became Superman. He flew around the house with his cape flapping behind him. With two girls between my oldest son and McKay I had forgotten how much I enjoy this part of boyhood. Later on when I watched him running in the back yard I thought how nice it was to have Superman back in the family again.
However, it’s one thing to have a super hero in the family and quite another to have those super skills yourself. I’m the one who really needs them after all. Being faster than a speeding bullet and stronger than a locomotive would definitely have its advantages. Just think how quickly I could put the house in order. I would love always being in the right place at the right time. I would be there at that moment of decision, there when a little one finds her way to the street, there when a middle schooler needs a shoulder to cry on and there with the right words to say. Imagine having the strength to patiently deal with two year old as well as teenage tantrums. I could have the beautiful, organized home, be the fun mom, the great cook mom, the teaching mom, the supportive mom, the peaceful mom, the favorite house on the block mom, the making and keeping memories mom and that’s just the beginning. It seems so unfair to be constrained by time and my own human weakness. If only I could be super.
Yet, one of the problems with wanting this is that it causes me to forget my most important partner in parenting. I find myself thinking I can, with just a little more effort, do it all myself. The reality is I can’t do it alone and I must rely on the Lord. When I want to do it all and painfully discover, once again, my deficiency, I am reminded that it is through His power, not my own, that I can do all things. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things (Alma 26:12.)"
Sometimes I have to remind myself that God gave me these children knowing full well that I could never give them everything they need. He knew I wouldn't be the perfect parent and that I would often fail. He knew there would be times I would hurt their feelings and break their hearts. Yet, I have to believe that is the way He planned it. If I was who I want to be, that super human being that can do it all herself, I would never need Him and neither would my children. I would never seek for the blessings of the atonement for my children and myself. And, I would never come to know Him and the priceless gift He gave in His Son.
Maybe there is really only one super thing I can do; that is to fly to Him. It’s really the only way. I will never be super, but with His grace I can more gracefully maneuver the pitfalls of temper, fatigue and frustration. Although I’m unable to do it all, with my eyes on Him I just might get better and better at choosing “the one needful thing . . . that good part, which shall not be taken away from (me) (Luke 10:42).”
So I bid farewell to wishes for superhuman strength, unlimited energy and infinite amounts of patience. However, I’ll always hold on to one small lesson about being super that I learned from my first young Superman several years ago.
It all began quite innocently. I was doing the laundry when Josh came in with his blanket and announced that he needed to be Superman. I tied it around his neck and off he flew to save the world. A few minutes later Sarah arrived with
a blanket that I tied around her neck and away she went.
It wasn't long before Josh was at my side again. "Mom, do you want to be Supergirl?" he asked. "Oh, I think Sarah is Supergirl," I replied trying to evade this invitation to play. "I'm Superman!" he said proudly but, that wasn't the end of it, he pushed on. "Sarah is Supergirl and I'm Superman. Who can you be?" I continued folding laundry and said, "How about I'll be Supermom." "Oh yeah!" he said with excitement, as if he should have thought of that himself.
Sarah arrived just seconds later with two blankets for me to choose from. I tied the bigger one around my neck, shouted "Supermom!" and off I flew. Perhaps lumbered would be a more accurate description of the flight of a nearly nine months pregnant woman. Anyway, for my children and me it was flight. I flew around the house with two little super heroes holding tightly to my cape. We stopped here and there so they could show me how to fly off the furniture. I didn't try any of that however; Supermom does have her limits.
So who says you can't be Supermom? The secret is so simple it’s astonishing, just like Josh's "Oh yeah!" to my suggestion of it. We should have all figured this out long ago. It just took the insistence of my little Superman to help me see that all it takes to be Supermom is a blanket and a willingness to leave the laundry."