Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Why Do I Always Have to be Batman?


It's 1968 or nine or thereabouts. The neighborhood gang is assigning roles in our favourite game: Batman. My next door neighbor, Dougie is the oldest. He is the final authority on all things related to rules of play. Like always he makes me the Batman. All the kids take off for their assigned positions except me. He looks at me, "Well?" he bellows in his most authoritative 9 year old voice. My head goes down. I shuffle my feet. Finally I ask "I'm a girl. Why do I always have to be Batman?" He looks at me with disgust. "All the boys are bad guys. You're the only girl who's big enough to catch us. Now hurry up!"

That night I dreamed I was Batman. With those words Dougie had changed my life. I was a creature of the night. I was a detective. I was fearless. I was a force.

My daughter just came home from karate. I look at her and I see the force that she will one day become. I think it's good to be a superhero, especially the kind that can't fly.