Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Super Hero by Barbara Ann Carle

Barbara Carle is a published essayist and poet and is a featured reader at Friendswood Public Library's Essay Readings on Wednesday, February 29th at 7pm. Also read Carle's The Red Shoes.

The Super Hero

By Barbara Ann Carle

My oldest son Scott was an archer.  He had a large collection of bows that he purchased on our trips to the flea market in Canton, Texas.  He would often practice in the back yard and of course, whatever Scott was, his younger brother Glen had to be too.  And once Glen decided he wanted to do something he could be quite persistent.  Pretty soon all we heard was “Can I try? Can I try?” Scott began searching for a bow that Glen could handle.  When he found the right size; he began teaching Glen and Glen’s best friend Bob archery. 
Over the next year both boys got pretty good.  That fall Scott took Glen to the Renaissance Festival in Magnolia, Texas.  Scott said three men in their twenties were playing the archery game and they were really bad.  They obviously didn’t know the first thing about archery.  Glen decided he wanted to try.  The three men began to laugh at the little kid trying to shoot an arrow.  With a fair amount of pride, Scott laughed when he described the scene.  “I stood off to one side.  Glen walked up, put down his money and took the proper position.  He pulled back the bow in perfect form and scored three out of three shots.  Those older guys were stunned.” 
One afternoon Scott came to me and said “Mom I think I have a problem.  Glen and Bob came up to my room today and told me they think it’s time I started fighting crime.  They want me to become a Super Hero.  They want me to buy green tights and a green shirt and Hgo out at night with my bow and arrows to catch bad guys.  I tried telling them that I couldn’t do that but they’re convinced I can.  I don’t know what to do.”  Scott was eighteen then and Glen was eight. 
Scott and I had a good laugh.  The thought of him running around Nassau Bay in green tights with a bow and a quiver of arrows on his back was just too funny.  “You have to admit, it’s rather flattering that they’re convinced you can be a crime fighter.”   I couldn’t help adding “Come to think of it, you do look good in green.” 
Poor Scott really was between a rock and a hard place.  Glen idolized his big brother and thought he could do anything.  “I don’t want to hurt their feelings but they just won’t take no for an answer” Scott said.   “Don’t worry, I’ll talk to Glen.” 
The next day when Glen came home from school I sat him down and said “So Scott told me you have a plan.  You want him to become a crime fighter.” 
The enthusiasm that lit his face showed me just what I was up against. 
“Yeah, he’s a great archer, Mom.  He can go out after dark and look for bad guys.”
“Well, honey you know he can’t go around arresting people, he’s not a police officer.  The police department wouldn’t want him doing that.”
“There are bad guys out there, right?  You’re a police officer Mom and you go after bad guys all the time.”
“Well yes, but that’s my job and it’s what I’ve been trained to do.  Police officers don’t want citizens running around trying to catch criminals.  That’s what we’re paid to do.”
“So we won’t tell them.  You, Bob and I can keep it a secret.”
“But what if Scott gets hurt?”
            “He won’t get hurt, he’s too good.  You should see him Mom he never misses.”
“I know he’s good but what if the bad guys have a gun?” I asked.
“Oh he’s really fast Mom.  He wouldn’t get hurt.  So will you make his outfit Mom?  He needs green tights and a green shirt, maybe a hat too.  He could be like the Green Hornet.”
I was getting nowhere fast.  I knew Scott was a good archer but I doubted he was faster than a speeding bullet.
“You know Scott is really busy, going to school and working.  He has lots of things he needs to do.”
“That’s why Bob and I will help.  Will you make us outfits too, just like Scott’s?  And then when Scott’s busy, Bob and I can take over.”
“I don’t think Bob’s Mom would let him become a crime fighter” I replied.
“She will if you talk to her, I know you can convince her.”

      I found myself face to face with a major case of hero worship.  How could I maintain the image Glen had of his brother but talk some sense into him. 
“You know Scott starts college in two months, right?”
“And you know college is really hard, right?”  He nodded his eight year old head.  “Well he couldn’t possibly do his homework, study and work while being a crime fighter, could he?  And you know how much he’s looking forward to going to college.  We wouldn’t want him to fail, would we?” 
I could see his blue eyes cloud with a look of deep disappointment.  I got a dejected “No”. 
Shoulders slumped, he turned and walked away.  At the last minute, just before going through the doorway, he spun around smiling and shouted “That’s OK, Mom.  He can do it on his summer vacation.”

©Copyright – Barbara Ann Carle, 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.