Just a short story on the day in the life of two children
The Super Hero-Men are sleeping now, for the is world safe again. I walk in silently and give them each a kiss good night, as they slumber deep. Ethan John has given up his cape and the sand-man, a visiting he has been. Willis lays, his head buried in the sheets, what, I wonder, what is he dreaming of tonight? As I slowly walk back out toward their door, I pause, look back at the sleeping boys, and in my thoughts wander back through the day.
Ethan, the youngest son, spent it running round the house, lord, I wish I knew what powered him. Today, he was a gargoyle, with an old dish towel for wings. He stood upon chairs, though in his eyes, I'm sure they were towering things. He flew across the sky, which is true you know, for he once told me he could fly, and who am I to disbelieve as I can, in the vague remembrances of a childhood now past, recall the days that I too, flew just as high. In his flights, I'm sure he wheeled, circled, and soared, dived to the ground, and explored. Throughout the day he vigilantly guarded us from evil, and when and where he found it, he fought it to the bitter end, Ethan John Radtke, AKA the Super Hero-Man.
Ethan can be alternately, Batman, a Power Ranger, a Gargoyle, or Superman, and the list goes on and on. I myself, well I'm never really quite sure of just who or when. There are times when I find him jumping off of a chair, or perhaps standing on a table, and I ask in a grown up's voice, "Just what do you think you are doing there?", Ethan in the logic of a child's mind, patiently explains that he is most definitely not Ethan, rather he is the Blue Power Ranger and he is fighting the bad guys, so would I just please let him get on with saving the world. I stand, and stare, what can one say, there is a hero-man at work there, so with a gruff and grumbled, "please don't destroy the house", I wander back to the other room, and inwardly smile, thinking, "bad guy's, you better beware".
By two, we finally has the TV room picked up once more, the toys, each one at last put away. Ten minutes later, Batman runs through the room, his cape flying in wind, and in a flurry of movement faster than the eye can see, magically he makes the mess appear again. In a flash, he's gone, leaving behind a trail of debris. I track him down into the kitchen, raiding the cupboards, Batman at the feast, (though lunch was just at noon).
"Batman", I say, (acknowledging in my own way the lesson learned earlier, that of, Ethans ability to completely step into character, we Dad's like to keep one step ahead.)
"Batman, we just finished picking up the TV room and..."
"I'm not Batman", is the reply, (that figures, children usually manage to stay two steps in front of us Dads.)
"I'm a Gargoyle, thats why I have wings, (again the patient child's voice, and you know he is thinking, "gee Dad, don't you know anything".)
"Oh, It was a cape this morning"
"No, its not, its wings...see... (He holds them up for me.)
"Okay", I mumble as I walk back to pick-up, another round lost, one final thought, "Dad's and Bad Guys beware..."
Willis fought hard too, his battle with the bad guys not quite the same. Today, well today he played the army game. He stood and fought as a brave soldier should against an overwhelming enemy onslaught. He, his good friend, they both took point, and of course Soldier First Class Ethan John was there too, covering the rear. These three brave soldiers went outside to stand or to fall, fighting the invaders that threatened us all. Their battle plan, hold the enemy at the gates of Fort Fearless, and there fight to the bitter end. From after-action reports they were only to happy to give, the battle was a close one, there were tanks over here, the enemy was hiding everywhere. Bombs, missiles, and rockets streaked and flew through the air. But like all children's battles, in the end the three brave boys were victorious, the battle had ended as it should.
I admit it, I didn't see or hear a thing, the yard still looked as it should. I heard no rifle fire, nor the high pitched squeal of a moving tank on the prowl. I did not hear the scream of flying shells nor smell the battle smoke, but yet I am sure the battle happened just like they said it did, because for a child, being a hero-man is something that to quickly comes to an end. I myself, can even vaguely remember way back when. There were battles that I fought along my childhood friends, battles that were long and hard, but because we were still children then, we too, yes, we always won them in the end.
As I stood gazing, all of these things passed through my mind; the day just past, small bits and pieces of childhood times, and what is lost through time. But during this single quiet moment this night, I'll just stand here, watch as the Super Hero-Men sleep, because for now, for now the world is safe...at last.