'Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.'
Here are a few things that I want you to know as you face the battles that lie ahead. First, and most importantly, superheroes never have to do things alone. Their Mamas and Papas are always right there with them. And, it's true, there are moments when we must hand you over to someone else. Someone who knows more about brains and spinal cords, hearts, spines, and so much more. But, those people are ones we have asked to join you in your journeys to fight your big battles. They are so very special. Without them, we would not have the tools and knowledge we need to help when they're not around. Some of them give us the amazing things you put in your body each day so that you can focus on fighting big battles. Some of them have to hurt you to make you stronger. Those are the hardest for us, too. So it's okay to not understand that and feel so very angry at them. I think, someday, you will understand it better.
Sometimes, superheroes flash their toothless grins when they're in the strong arms of those who help them fly. Those moments are so very special. They are confident enough in themselves to know that it's okay to let someone else hold you up when you're unable to fly alone. (In case you're unsure, none of us can fly alone.) And, you can let other people see the person behind the magic, it doesn't have to be done with hidden wires. Living with the lie that we can do it without others, or trying to hide the man controlling the wires only kills the superhero. It gets swallowed by the fear of being found out. So my three littles, always lean into those arms, spread your arms, and breathe in deep the air that rushes past you as you fly. We will do our best to have our arms ready to help whenever we can. You are some of the very best fliers we know!
It's okay to be unsure. Being a superhero can be both exhilarating and terrifying. The battles you have fought already prepare you for the ones that lie ahead. But, they also leave you with the scars and the dreaded knowledge of what those future things can look like. And, sometimes, the battle is a brand new one. The thing you face may be terrifying. Feel free to wear your uncertain face during those times. You are not required to smile through it all. Being brave means knowing your limits. It means facing things that terrify you. We will be there explaining those terrifying things the best that we can. And, we will be cheering so damn loud as you face them, even if you face them through a screaming, kicking, crying fit. Because small children and adults are allowed to be terrified. This life can be quite terrifying at times.
It's so very okay to not fly some days. It's okay to be the kind of superhero that clings to your Papa and Mama. It's okay to suck your thumb, snuggle lambie, carry your blanket around, and watch sesame street to take your mind off of things. We will hold you so tight during those times. Superpowers often come from comfort objects. They give us the power to face the world again, always remembering they will be there when we need them. There's no shame in getting your superpowers recharged. Being a superhero is exhausting. Put your cape away for a while, and just go back to your regular everyday job of being a kid. You're pretty amazing at that, too!
The truth is, though, that we have no idea what we're doing in these battles. That when we watch you all face hard things, our hearts ache in such very big ways. We are trying to fly, but it's often awkward. We have our unsure faces on. And, we most certainly lean into our Papa, and comfort objects. We want things to be hard enough for you that you can face the world with confidence. But, for whatever reason, our family seems to have gotten an extra dose of hard things. The weeks ahead promise to be filled with some big battles for all of you. No matter how tired we are, how very little we feel like we have left to give, we promise to be there with you through those battles.
Always remember, we can do hard things. You don't have to superhero alone. Really, superheroes lie in the hearts of small children facing big battles with the help, love, and support of the people around them. We just leave that last part off because we are so very proud of how you all face your big battles.
With the deepest of love,