I could only hear muffled male voices wafting down the stairs, but something humorous had occurred. As they descended, My Man announced that Jonathan had chosen our Sunday Family Movie.
Jonathan, out of the blue: “Dad! Can we watch Wonder Woman?”
My Man: “Well, I bought it for Mommy to watch. We will have to ask her.”
Jonathan, instantly and authoritatively: “Don’t worry. Mom loves superheroes.”
True, I had not seen the new Wonder Woman movie, despite the hype. I feel like one of very few, but I was pregnant with a husband overseas when it came out. I was too busy channeling my inner Wonder Woman to see the movie.
My Man used some extra Amazon credit to buy it for me, and Jonathan saw it in the Watchlist. As is our Sunday tradition, the family settled in and pressed play. I was fairly excited; buying essentials on Amazon.com was about the closest I’ve felt to an Amazonian princess lately.
As the mythological origin story unfolded and the statues of the gods were displayed on the island, Jonathan chimed in with, “Um, where is Jesus?” My husband and I chuckled and exchanged a high five. Superhero stories are full of doctrine if one’s panties are not in a bunch.
As predicted, I did NOT finish family movie night. Over the course of the movie I nursed a baby, fixed a toy, put away dishes, rocked a baby to sleep, and did a bedtime routine. As all Wonder Women know, the Mission is always interrupted by other work and other missions.
The movie progresses with relative comfort until Will needed a bathroom break. We headed upstairs, not looking at the explosions over our shoulder. (A common occurrence for me.) Then I heard Jonathan’s unmistakable singing voice. At a climactic fight scene when things are going poorly, he sang a song we frequently use from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. “When something is bad, turn it around and find something good! Jonathan’s interjections certainly improved the movie experience.
The best part of the Family Movie Night experience wasn’t the movie. It was Jonathan saying, “Look! Like Mom!” (Obviously. Clearly, we are twins.)
(This photo was taken at his insistence during a superhero-playtime in September, the week before his tumor burst. I was 7 months pregnant. Gal Gadot was 5 months pregnant during filming, but she had a green screen.)
My heart soared. After all, I want to be a heroine as much as I need a hero. (Mandatory side bar moment to sing, “I need a heroooo!” a la Bonnie Tyler) Jonathan, for whatever reason, thought I was like Wonder Woman. It was the reminder I needed.
Jonathan didn’t see the movie crew, the hours of work outs, trainers, costume designers, green screens, and tremendous work to make the movie. He saw Wonder Woman. During the training scenes during the movie’s beginning he asked repeatedly when Diana would turn into Wonder Woman.
Isn’t that the way with us? We don’t want to think about the effort and refining process. I just want to put on the costume, wield the weapon and BE the hero while skipping the process of becoming the hero. I want her figure without the work. I want to be strong without the strength-building trials. We want to defeat evil or end wars without the fight it requires. Heroes knows there is more work to do and how flawed they are–they aren’t comparing themselves to others.
I’ll be the first to say I am NOT Wonder Woman… but boy do I ever want to be her. While I am striving to become something, my kids see me being something. That is how heroes are made, after all. They refuse to do nothing and instead just do something. Most the time, it turns out to be Wonderful.
The world needs heroes. May we be them. May we raise them.