You don't need to be Superman to have super powers.
My friend Mindy wrote on our word this week about a guy who loved without obligation. You should read that first.
My oldest sister, who knew him before he was a raging drunk, says my dad was stupid in love with my mom. Totally gaga. He had to be. The one thing he ever did to defy his mother was to marry mine.
And everything was peachy until something came between him and his true love. Took her time. Divided her loyalties. Broke up his ideal life of a woman in total devotion to him. We happened to him. His children.
Some of us fared better than others.
I didn't have the worst of it by a long shot. He treated me, when he was paying any attention at all, as a kind of toy. I was a talking yo-yo, or maybe a smart set of jacks. He could use me to amaze the trashy women he flirted with at the bar we frequented while my mother earned money for the family.
"She's a little cutie, Jim. I'm gonna buy her some peanuts." From toy to circus monkey.
Worst was when Daddy used me like a marionette, pulling the strings to dance me around like a favorite in order to torment another sibling. Too little to understand the manipulation, I was made a partner in his cruelty.
Although this business wasn't the reason I only had one child, I have often thought it a blessing I couldn't repeat that little Punch and Judy show with my own kids.
I married Clark Kent.
It's true. Glasses on his face, affable smile, and mild-mannered down to his sensible shoes.
From the day we met, he loved me so much it was fearsome to behold. Totally gaga. So in love, he wouldn't protect himself from the love and openly told me how he couldn't believe I was with him. He bared his heart in his chest and stuck my hand inside, pressing my fingers around the pulsing muscular lump of it. Every beat said It's yours.
Wake in the night to whispers in my ear. "Are you sure you want to marry me?"
I was sure. I did.
And we had a child. And here is where I became suspicious that he was wearing red and blue tights underneath his clothes.
He was smitten. Knocked out crazy over the moon gaga over that girl.
"I can't believe how lucky I am."
Every minute of his life as a father has been the antithesis of what my own Daddy represented. He gave our daughter so much -- support, guidance, unconditional love. Best of all, he loves her mother. He never made being a family a game of musical chairs where one could find herself on the outside looking in, wishing for love and respect.
It's his birthday this week. This is my present for my Clark Kent. Thank you, honey. I'm still sure.