Thursday, March 15, 2007

Up, up, and away!

The superhero wakes up on a sunny Thursday morning. She's had almost 11 hours of sleep, so she's ready to face the day. Well, almost. This superhero is a bit slow to wake, so she spends some time hiding under blankets, just pondering the possibility of getting up and getting moving. Eventually, our hero lurches forward and heads for the kitchen.

First order of business: Breakfast. Two gummy bear vitamins, to give her the proper nutrients her growing body needs. Then, a small bowl of pineapple to give her tastebuds some zing. After that, a stack of chocolate chip pancakes. If it's a special occasion, the superhero's father will allow the superhero to have whipped cream and sprinkles on top. Completing the meal is a big cup of milk to build strong teeth and bones.

After breakfast, it's time for the superhero to decide on the day's wardrobe. So much is at stake. Unlike most superheroes, this one does not have a set costume. Oh no. Each day's outfit is based on mood, weather, the day's events, and the day's possibilities. One day, the costume might need to be hot pink from head to toe. Or, perhaps all purple is needed. Some days require as many colors as the rainbow will support and preferably as many patterns as can be worn. Shoes are of course important, as proper footwear ensures that the superhero is prepared for any possibility. Lots of running? Then it's the purple trail shoes. Playing in the mud? Then it's the washable Crocs, available in an array of colors. Tea with royalty? Then of course it's the sequined mary janes. Finishing things off is the superhero's choice of hairstyle and accessories. Since pulled-back hair means that earrings are more easily seen, our superhero often skews toward braids and ponytails. All styling is finished off with the fanciest hair accessories possible. Sometimes, an extra accessory is necessary, such as a red cape or a pink faux fur shrug.

Once dressed and properly accessorized, the superhero leaves for school. As with Clark Kent of Superman fame, it is necessary for this superhero to hide her superness under a subterfuge of normalcy. So off she goes to first grade every day, rain or shine, good mood or bad mood. It is a difficult sacrifice of her time, but she accepts the burdens of her wonderfulness. She knows it is necessary to learn and to use her brain, as there's no such thing as a stupid superhero. The superhero's parents walk her to school every day, which gives her a chance to stretch her muscles, fill her lungs, and prepare her thoughts. When no one's looking, she also practices her super moves. She kicks, jumps, twirls, and leaps. Merely walking is not an acceptable training regimen. She must be as swift as a cheetah, as strong as an elephant, and sometimes as stealthy as a hunting lioness.

During the school day, the superhero tries to hide her greatness, but it does shine through on occasion. She might help a classmate find a missing item. Or perhaps she'll comfort a friend who is sad. Maybe she'll read to a kindergartener who is still struggling with literacy. Outside of school, the superhero performs even more kind acts. She plays with her sister's toys so they won't get lonely or dusty. She saves dandelions from certain destruction by picking them and bringing them inside. She helps her mother at the grocery store by choosing treats herself. Whatever the act, our superhero does good deeds every day.

Sometimes, just to throw normal people off the trail to her secret, the superhero will act in a most un-super way. This is not because the superhero is a bad person. On the contrary, she is a very good person who sometimes just gets a little overwhelmed with the burden of her role. Or who perhaps needs a nap. Or maybe just some chocolate to perk herself right up. No matter what, our superhero always rebounds and resumes her normal good humor.

After school, the superhero comes home and changes into clothes more befitting her fabulosity. This is when those around her will see princess gowns, crowns, lots of jewelry, great hats, and so forth. This is when the superhero truly shines -- so much so that sometimes sunglasses are needed just to behold her splendor. The superhero really works on her moves in the afternoon and into the evening. She makes art that showcases her ideas. She trains -- as if for the Super Olympics -- on the swings and slide. She reads, in order to be the smartest superhero she can possibly be.

At night, the superhero starts to wind down. She has a shower to wash off the day's grime and filth. She and her mother work on combing out tangles. She flosses and brushes her teeth to keep them healthy. Afterward, she puts on pajamas and reads in bed. Finally, the superhero's parents turn off her lights, tuck her in, and kiss her goodnight. The superhero almost always goes to sleep within just a few minutes. It has been a very busy day and she needs to gather her strength for the next day, when it all begins again.

A superhero lives in our house. She's six years old and thinks that no one knows her secret -- that she is capable of doing great things, helping people, and making the world a better place. But her parents know. They have long known that she is an amazing girl, filled with wonder and delight in the world around her. A girl with lots of interesting ideas and things to be shared. A child capable of doing so many things that it almost boggles the mind. This is Elegant the Wondergirl and we are fortunate enough to be her parents, to see her become greater daily, to watch her grow up.

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