lessons from superman (#wholemama).

Superman has taken up residence in our house.

It starts the same nearly every morning: when it’s time for Cancan, our almost three-year-old to get dressed, he takes it upon himself to wear a) swim trunks and b) his “super cape.” Clark Kent becomes my boy’s alter ego, making his debut everywhere we go: at the playground and at church, at the farmer’s market and during family pictures at the beach in Santa Cruz. He shows up at our dinner table and at the zoo, in the grocery store and while we’re waiting for Mama’s Special Drink (otherwise known as a 12-ounce latte with a double shot and one sugar in the raw from the neighborhood coffee shop ).

At the zoo with Lois Lane. Photo cred: Steph.
At the zoo with Lois Lane. Photo cred: Stephanie Patterson.

He’s not soaring off anything higher than the front porch steps at this point, and snuggles from Mama still seem to be his Kryptonite. And here’s the deal: I’m totally fine with him being the superhero in our house. I’ve long since shed my own superhero cape, maybe because I’ve begun to realize that I can’t have it all and be it all and do it all and save it all. I no longer pretend invincibility and I’ve long shed my proclivity to drive myself into the ground, being the Best Mom and the Best Worker and the Best Friend and the Best Wife. Because at some point, I think we realize it’s not about being Best, it’s simply about being. 

It’s simply about embracing the mess and seeking wholeness at the same time.

It’s about entering into the chaos and laughing a hearty, holy throat-chortle in response.

It’s about finding little, perfect chunks of shalom hidden in pools of Cheerios on the hardwood floor and in the splatters of dried banana that adorn the dining room walls. 

And in that way, my kid seems to be the healthiest version of a superhero I’ve ever met …and one that I want to model and emulate.

As Superman was getting ready to go to bed tonight, he and the HBH (Hot Black Husband) migrated to the front room, where I sat writing this post. After dancing in his Batman underwear to the background music, he proceeded to start the elongated bedtime-clothes ritual.

Sitting down on the floor, he wiggled his feet into his footie pajamas. Determined and stubborn and most wholly alive, no sooner did a question follow his declaration:

I got this, I got this! …Can you help me, Dada?

Superman asked for help. 

Asking for help is not what superheroes are known for, because superheroes don’t have to ask for help. Superheroes are superheroes for a reason, because they have every Super Perfect Power within them, but you and I, my friend, we are far from superheroes. And isn’t that a relief?

It means we can ask for help.

It means we can lean into each other.

It means we can show compassion and kindness to one another, even when we feel like our well’s run dry.

It means we can seek to understand those whose stories are different from ours, those whose cultures and histories and lives seem so far from our own.

It means we can seek wholeness and find shalom, the essence of which I believe is already there for the waiting, there for the wanting, there for those who so desire it.

So, join me, will you?

Join me as we strip off the superhero capes we think we can and should wear, as we yearn to be our most real and compassionate and whole selves.

xo, c.

So, we’re talking about power and superpowers and superheroes this week at #wholemama. Join the movement, and link up over at Esther’s site as we talk about All Things Superpower.  Otherwise, what has Superhero Cancan taught you from this post? What are you feeling and thinking? Do share!

30 thoughts on “lessons from superman (#wholemama).

  1. “It’s about entering into the chaos and laughing a hearty, holy throat-chortle in response.” This language empowers me to face another day vacationing with my family of 5 in a one bedroom apartment this week. I may be found locked in the bathroom practicing my super hero poses, cackling.

    1. Oh girl, I get it. Sometimes it seems and feels so much easier to stay (and that too is necessary sometimes) – but where’s the adventure and the life lived in that?

  2. “I no longer pretend invincibility and I’ve long shed my proclivity to drive myself into the ground, being the Best Mom and the Best Worker and the Best Friend and the Best Wife. Because at some point, I think we realize it’s not about being Best, it’s simply about being.” LOVE LOVE LOVE this quote. Simply being isn’t something I figured out easily and I still struggle with daily. However, I’m quick to remind myself, so hopefully, one day the habit will become the norm. 🙂

  3. I love your thoughts on this. Listening to those whose stories are different, and seeking to understand, is such a powerful movement toward shalom.

    Valuing wholeness not just for ourselves individually, (which is also important,) but for all with whom we share space here on earth, is the path I feel called to walk.

    1. Thank you, my friend. I love that one word or theme (or scripture or song…) can inspire a myriad of responses in a myriad of people. Glad to be in the #wholemama life with you, friend. xo.

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

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  4. It’s so funny that we both mention various superheroes and Cheerios in our posts today. Our boys are probably about 20 years apart, but it goes to show you how some things about raising them never changes! Btw, never mentioned that I love the name of your blog.

  5. Oh yes, let’s shed those superhero capes! I’m so very sick of trying to be perfect (for basically my whole life). 🙂 What a gift to other mamas to ask for help and say, “yes, me too.”

  6. “Join me as we strip off the superhero capes we think we can and should wear, as we yearn to be our most real and compassionate and whole selves.” I will join you! On our journeys to become as real and compassionate as we can be, we might just discover that those are the real super powers 🙂 I love your post!

    1. Oh Gayl, I LOVE your excitement, and love that you’re fearlessly jumping in. Yay!!! (And thanks for the encouragement)

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  7. “at some point, I think we realize it’s not about being Best, it’s simply about being.” Oh this is something I seem to realise and then forget over and over with a startling frequency. Grateful for mamas like you to remind me again.

    1. Oh Fiona, I too get with the startling frequency of said realizations often, over and over again. Here’s to learning to be. xo.

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  8. I wish I could put a photo in here because it would be my almost three year old in her muscle-y Spiderman costume. She rocks the princesses, too, sleeps in her Elsa dress, but sometimes it has to be Spiderman. And then…she hangs out. 🙂 I love this. I’m so glad you’re wholemama-ing with me and all of us this summer.

    1. Absolutely! You KNOW we’ve already packed the Superman cape (and his swim trunks) for the plane to ID tomorrow …but on a serious note, here’s to teaming up together in the future again!

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

  9. Now to live this: “It means we can ask for help. It means we can lean into each other. It means we can show compassion and kindness to one another, even when we feel like our well’s run dry.”
    I think our boys would get along 🙂 mine was wearing a lifejacket, a crazy winter monkey hat, and a baseball hat this morning.

    1. Ah yes, it DOES sound like they’d get along – they’d compliment each other on their outfits, I’m sure. In this with you, Erika! xo.

      Cara Meredith

      writer, speaker, musician. carameredith.com

      >

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