A Seattle Family Photographer’s Take on Parenting
1.a hero, especially in children’s comic books and television cartoons, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers.
In modern popular fiction, a superhero is a fictional character “of unprecedented physical prowess dedicated to acts of derring-do in the public interest.” A female superhero is sometimes called a superheroine. Fiction centered on such characters, especially in American comic books which originated in the 1930s, is known as superhero fiction.
We have loved and fantasized about superheroes for nearly 100 years. Since the debut of the prototypal superhero Lee Falk’s The Phantom in 1936 followed by Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas — have dominated American comic books and crossed over into other media.
I can’t help but wonder if Lee drew his ideas of a super hero from his parents. Perhaps he sat in his humble kitchen and watched his mother and father. What if he drew on their strengths and weaknesses to create the characters of the first comic book ever?
In Superhero Nation, there is a list of characteristics of a superhero: careful, cautious, dutiful, savvy, steady, unstable, idealistic, insecure and the list goes on. I can’t help but think of myself and other parents when I read these words. Perhaps all superheroes are Moms and Dads.
As parents, we all start off scared, terrified and questioning our every move. As mothers we take it a step further and fill it with doubt and comparing our super powers with others – often forgetting about our super powers all together. We discount our ability to love. We forget that is our greatest super power of all. Perhaps with our partners love feels like it is not enough – so how could it be with our children?
That is our weakness as parents: we forget, with great love, comes great responsibility – to love yourself.
Many superheroes do not feel like they can have love in their lives; they are too afraid those they love will get hurt. As parents, our love for our children can often be taken over by fear as well. We make the best decisions we possibly can for our children. We research, talk to others, and do what we feel is right in our hearts: creating enemies and nay-sayers. We often feel alone and question ourselves and our decisions. We are worriers. No different from any other superhero.
We are creating the future generation. We give up our bodies, sports leagues, TV shows, freedom, travel, goals, careers, sleep, sanity for this one thing. This one life. The gift of a child who will not probably really ‘thank you’ until they have children of their own and are raising the next generation. Like superheroes we are not here for verbal gratitude. There is no greater sacrifice or responsibility than that of being called “Mom” and “Dad”.
We are the superheroes. Every parent is a superhero by simply trying their best to love with the weight of great responsibility.
We are the super heroes. And it is a beautiful sacrifice we make.
“The Phantom is a marvelous role model because he wins against evil. Evil does not triumph against The Phantom… He hates dictatorship, and is in favor of democracy. He is also opposed to any violation of human rights.” – Lee Falk
This fun family photography session was at Golden Gardens on a beautiful, warm May day. This special little man, Owen, loves to play hide and seek and chase. He is inquisitive and kind. This family is full of love and joy. They are superheroes, indeed.