Maybe I, and all moms, are superheroes. After all, I can lift strollers over mountains of snow, carry my weight in groceries and heal an ouchie in seconds. I wake up the second before my children call me from their beds and I swear I can hear my child's cry from across town. I may be slowing down as a runner, but no one sprints faster than me when I see Munchkin heading towards a street on a scooter. At any moment I can tell my children (and husband) the exact location of a missing item.
But motherly superpowers go beyond radar vision and physical feats. After all, the heroic thing about superheroes isn't just their special powers but their morals. Kids don't just learn from what I teach them from a book, but by watching who I am between washing dishes, sorting laundry and traipsing around town. When I open doors for others or give up my seat up on the train, my children learn to be kind. When I look up a new word in Spanish, they realize I'm not afraid to say, "I don't know. Let me find out." When I help Monkey persevere while completing challenging homework, he learns to be persistent. When I let the kids try things on their own, they learn I have faith in them. When I ask that they give their teary sibling a hug, they learn sympathy.
If one of my superpowers is raising my children to be good citizens and thoughtful neighbors, another is to use our powers to help others. Maybe the reason I'm tired at night is because, like Monkey said, I give my powers to my children. I help them when they're tired by tugging their scooters along. I lift Munchkin up high so that she can see something new out the window. I carry the children's backpacks so that they may dance on their walk home. I let them "help" me clean so that they may learn responsibility, even if they leave a bigger mess behind. I know I'm doing the right thing when my children share their powers with me by helping me unload the dishwasher and carry groceries.
It's draining to keep up with my energetic mini superheroes and to give them the attention they deserve with the patience that they need. But as the three of us trek through the snow and build forts on the couch, we all benefit from the sharing of powers. For a few minutes here and there, I can visualize the world through Monkey's powerful watch and see that we can accomplish more and have more fun together than we can apart. Super powers activated!