Recently, Brenda from GrrlGuide wrote a post titled “If You Could Pick a Super Power, What Would It Be?”
It made me smile because I remembered a post I had written back in May, 2010.
Given that today is Mother’s Day, I thought it poignant to share it with all of you since it narrates the lengths a single mother will go to when trying to stay afloat.
I hope you like it and also, that you’ll visit Brenda’s blog.
She’ll make you laugh with her humorous, yet insightful posts, that narrate what most of us women go through on a regular basis.
Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!
And now without further ado, I give you
Do Super Heroes Exist?
Super heroes. Super powers. The stuff children and many adults spend hours playing, creating, and fantasizing about.
When I was a child, many an afternoon was spent talking with my sisters about the wonders of saving the world from evil villains.
Our favorite question was always, “If you had a super power, what would it be?”
The answers to this open-ended question were endless.
Sometimes we would wish for the much coveted x-ray vision, while other times, we wanted to be invisible.
At the time, little did I know that I was destined to possess a super power; the super power of being able to go for days without sleeping.
I became aware of my ability, when as a single Mom, I had a million things to do and very little time to do them.
As my children got older, my talent continued to evolve as I patrolled them round the clock whilst working both outside and inside the home.
Every morning I would proudly march into the kitchen–a wide-eyed crazy look on my face, hair dishevelled and still wearing the clothes from the previous day–and announce, “I only slept four hours last night”.
The next morning I’d make the same announcement minus an hour.
This process repeated itself until my countdown determined I was powering through the day on only one hour of sleep.
I justified my bad habit by insisting that doctors got little sleep and dismissed any reaction that enlightened me to the facts that a) I wasn’t a doctor and b) I wasn’t being paid a doctor’s salary to stay awake all those hours.
Nothing anyone said mattered. I was a super hero who could stay awake for days.
Or so I thought.
As my days of not sleeping turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months, I rapidly became one of the monsters super heroes battled.
Sleep deprivation had transformed me into a worthy Stephen King character.
Furthermore, I found that laughing hysterically gave me the added spurt of energy I needed to get down the stairs, and into the kitchen every morning.
“I only slept 30 minutes last night. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…”
My grown children’s looks of horror only served to increase my psychotic state.
“What’s wrong with you people?” Oh, forget it. You’re just jealous because neither of you has a super power,” I would scream.
I was one step away from being committed and didn’t know it.
It took both my sisters, my children, and the dog, to get me into a chair that afternoon.
Their intervention yielded the discovery that I was a super hero gone bad and that sleep deprivation was my kryptonite.
I watched sadly as the cape I had jokingly purchased at a party shop was folded and stored in a box.
“It’s time to retire, Mom,” announced the Son.
“Let someone else save the world,” said the Daughter.
Scenes of what I’d done during my time as a super hero flashed before my eyes: staying up all night baking cookies, proofreading papers, folding laundry, bathing the dog, making grocery lists, writing emails, scheduling appointments, and writing in my journal.
Tormented, I wondered who would do all of it now.
That’s when my sister said, “I have a super power.”
I quickly sat up and said, “Really? What is it?”
It was like we were five years old again.
“My super power is called delegating, also known as ‘let everyone take care of their own crap’. If you want, I’ll let you have it for a while.”
“I have the greatest super power of all. It’s the super power of ‘dolce far niente,’ said my other sister.
“Not fair! I want that one!” I replied.
And then I fell asleep.