Here’s the thing I love about Anders and most kids really, but in Anders it is especially strong: he is not afraid to be himself. The kid loves what he loves and he’s unapologetic about it. In his case it is super heroes, more specifically Batman.
In a world where everyone, myself included, is constantly struggling to change something about themselves — their weight, their status, their cup size — it is refreshing to spend my days with someone so content to be themselves.
I try to foster that quality in him. “You want to wear a cape to the grocery store? Sure! A ski mask to grandma’s house when it’s 70 degrees out? All right! You want to wear crocs? Can we talk about this?”
I kid. Sort of.
On a recent trip to the park Anders dawned his cape and mask, something his little sister, ever his shadow, asked to do as well. And of course I let them because, hello, adorable photo opportunity.
When we arrived there were a few children there and they immediately took notice of the two kids in costume. At first I worried that they would make fun of them. They were a little older and much like bees, you never can tell with children. Instead they were drawn to Anders. Asking where his costume came from and what super hero he was supposed to be.
For all the talk lately of bullying, I think I forget that most kids are sweet. It’s the world that makes them otherwise.
I hope the years we have before he begins to question himself, to censor things about himself that might cause others to raise an eyebrow, are many. The world needs more caped crusaders.