It's a surprise to some (and absolutely NO surprise to others) that I wasn't your typical Barbie-toting, princess-pretending, nail-painting, Easy Bake Oven girly girl. In fact, my mom was more likely to see me tumbling around with the boys in my neighborhood protecting the universe from villans and all bad guys out to destroy the earth -- in my own elementary-aged way, of course.
I had this insatiable fascination with superheroes, mainly because of their superpowers. Their ability to do extraordinary things mesmerized me. ThunderCats were these amazing creatures, part human/part cat, completely AWESOME! Just when the odds were against them, Lion-O would grab his sword and call upon the Eye of Thundera. He would let out a shout and BAM! Bad-guy bashing time!
Sorry I had a nostalgic moment.....
Their ability to save inspired me. I wanted to save! I wanted to be powerful like them! So, I would grab my replica superhero gear: shout out onomatopoeias at the top of my lungs, jump off the dresser (apparently mine was not high enough), make homemade superhero potions (something was clearly wrong with the baking soda and flour my mom bought), wrap myself in toliet paper (the mumification process has been shown to increase the chances of superpower transmission, duh), and at the end of the day....still just.....me.
Those guys were larger than life in my little child's mind. But as I've gotten older, my He-Man, no longer masters the universe, all my X-Men have sold out to Hollywood, Captain Planet has been replaced by lobbyists and Al Gore, Superman is having a serious identity crisis, and ThunderCats, well, most of you reading this didn't even know who they were......
One superhero has remained, though.
She never leaped tall buildings in a single bound, but she certainly can calm a thousand of my fears with a single hug.
She never mastered the universe, but she managed to get a week's worth of work done in less than 24 hours (take THAT He-Man!).
She never had one of those cool utility belts, but she could fix anything with what she had and a little creativity.
She never had any encounters with radioactive serums to make her larger than life, but her ability to love seems to flow from a heart that expands beyond human comprehension.
And while I was chasing after superpowers and jumping off of furniture, she found power on her knees.
And, you know what? She did something that those superheroes never did and never could....
She invited me on my knees and shared that power with me. She introduced me to a name that is higher than any other name, JESUS.
When it feels like my world is coming to an end, she reminds me that "I can do ALL things through Christ." (Philippians 4:13)
When I feel powerless against the villans in this world, she whispers "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)
And while she may have never gotten a comic book or tv show, she plays a starring role in my life.
She didn't get any cool name, but I get the honor of calling her MOM.
So, to my real-life superhero.....I love you, mom, with everything in me (and you've shown me that's a LOT!).
Julia Nichole ("Nikki")