Turning My Super Hero Status Over to My Teenagers

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Superman, Captain America and Wonder Woman all had to have those moments where they weren’t in the crime fighting, life saving “Super Hero” mode. 

Certainly every once in a while Batman took the afternoon off to wash the Batmobile or Aquaman took a day off from spending so much time in the water.  And I’m sure that Spiderman had nights where he was just to worn out to climb one more building.  Or maybe I just need to believe that because I’ve apparently lost the “Super Hero” status that I had previously held in the eyes of my children.

You see, I am not a morning person.  When I wake up, I need a few minutes of quiet before I am ready to jump into full “mommy mode”.  The children joke that when I first wake up I have a bubble that you don’t want to penetrate until I have my morning Diet Coke.  I can juggle a ton of things any other time of the day except first thing in the morning.

The first school drop off each morning falls during my “still waking up” time but it works out because that is when I take my older girls, who don’t always want to talk to me, to school.   My oldest daughter, Loughlin, is the exact opposite of me in the morning.  She wakes up all happy and full of sunshine.  A true “Chatty Cathy” in the morning.  My other daughter, Aidan, is a duplicate of me.   We are more than happy to not talk on the drive as we listen to our “Chatty Cathy” droning on about what a great day it’s going to be.

For the early morning drop offs, which occur at 6:45 a.m., I usually wear my pajamas.  I’m talking a pair of flip-flops, unbrushed hair, pajama bottoms and whatever T-shirt I grabbed out of my drawer the night before.  I have no make-up on and rarely the undergarments that make my daily attire fit so nicely by holding up anything that is sagging.  Let me just say that the first morning drop-off is not one of my finer moments, but I don’t care.  After I drop them off, I go home, transform into someone that looks presentable and then start my day.  My son thinks it is hysterical when he tells people that his mom looks like the Incredible Hulk first thing in the morning until she tries to get pretty like Barbie.

This morning was like any other typical morning, we pulled out of the driveway to head to school with Aidan and I focusing on just waking up and with Loughlin telling us about all the great things that the day had in store.   The car in front of us was driving very slowly and a little erratically.  Aidan said something snappy like, “Just our luck that we would get behind the world’s slowest person” and Loughlin said something uplifting like, “Maybe they are just taking their time and enjoying the morning drive.” Suddenly the car went to make a turn and drove right into a light post, knocking it completely down and continued a little further into someone’s yard.

It happened so fast but at the same time it was like watching something happen in slow motion.  As the car began to turn, I could tell it was not going to make it.  But to see it knock over the lamp post and the sparks fly out, it was surreal.  My first thought was how mortified I was going to be getting out of the car looking like I looked.   Still trying to comprehend what we had just seen, I stopped my car.  But it was not me who went into “Superhero” mode, it was my girls.

In the blink of an eye, the girls were out of the car.  These two teenagers were out before I could even comprehend what had just happened and find my flip-flops that were under the front seat.  Loughlin got on her cell phone and called 911, taking control and telling the operator the exact street we were on and answering all of the dispatcher’s questions.  Aidan ran over to the car and saw that there were two young children in the back seat. The woman driving the car was stunned but okay, so I reached in beside her and turned the car off. 

There was smoke billowing out from the lamp post and all of the power in the house in front of us had been knocked out, so Aidan worked quickly to get the little girl out of the backseat in case a fire started.  A man stopped and got the baby out, while another woman stopped to see if we needed any more help. The wonderful woman that lived in the house where the accident took place came outside to make sure everyone was okay.  The driver said over and over how sorry she was and the dear homeowner said, “A lamp post can be replaced, all that matters is that you all are okay.” Thankfully, there were no injuries except for the lamp post.

While we waited for the emergency vehicles to come, Aidan held the toddler in her arms and kept her happy.  Loughlin gently spoke to the mom letting her know that everyone was fine.  When the police arrived, I was so impressed with how the girls explained what had happened.  I just wanted to crawl under a rock; I had not even brushed my teeth yet! I was so thankful that I had found a piece of gum from who knows when next to my flip flop in the car.  I might look bad, but at least I had fresh breath talking to the officer.  A few minutes later the officer said we could go and I have never been so relieved to be heading back to the cover of my car.  On our way to the car, the man who had stopped to help came up to me and said, “I know you – you taught our Childbirth Class and you were the radio lady.”  So much for not being recognized.

As I dropped the girls off, I thought about how I swear I will never take them to school again without being semi-dressed!  I was recounting the story to the boys when I got home when Finn got very quiet for a moment.  He said, “Mom, I used to think you were a Super Hero, but not so much anymore.  It sounds like Loughlin and Aidan are the Super Heroes now.”

You know what; I think he might be right.  Watching the girls go into action to help these people was pretty neat.  Crabby like me or happy as sunshine, they know what to do and how to help people.  Maybe I am not the quick Super Hero I used to be – especially when wearing pajamas, but at some point all good Super Heroes have to step down to let a younger generation of step in.  I think these Super Heroes are going to do just fine.

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