A few weeks ago I did something crazy.
At Lucas’s Parents’ Evening, when I found out that they were going to be studying superheroes for a few weeks, I found myself volunteering to come in and talk to his class about my favourite superheroes. (The children get to choose the topic–I believe they even vote to make it fair and democratic!–and then the teachers apply the topic to writing, numeracy and so forth. So they do actually learn stuff.) Anyway, I found myself watching with curious detachment from the back of my mind as my mouth utterly ran away with itself and I found myself enthusiastically volunteering to talk to two classes for 10 minutes each.
Now… I am shy. I can be pulled out of my shell by someone who is bubbly and talkative and then I just seem to step up and get real chatty. Conversely, when I am sitting with someone who isn’t very outgoing, then I tend to clam up and watch the tumbleweed roll by. Also… public speaking? Totally not my thing. I remember having to run to the bathroom in high school before to throw up before making presentations.
And yet I volunteered? Crazy like a fish.
After much head-scratching and ponderings on Facebook about what superheroes the average 5-year old would have heard of, I settled on talking about the Big Three: Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman. Mainly because I am a total DC fangirl, but also because they are super-recognisable. Luckily the kids recognised them all, but were a little shaky on poor Wonder Woman. (She really doesn’t have any all-ages titles or toys, poor girl.)
I tried to connect each hero to the school’s values and talked a bit about what they could learn from each hero and then got to the fun stuff… superpowers! With much scrunching up of face for heat-vision, attempts to waggle ears for super-hearing and lots and lots of biceps being flexed to show me how strong they are. It was loads of fun and the kids seemed to have a great time. I still had a few minutes to spare so I took a few questions. I think the best one was, “how do superheroes get their powers?”
A year ago I would never, ever have volunteered for something like this. A few months ago I might have volunteered but I’d have worried myself sick beforehand. Today? I was relaxed and allowed myself to have lots of fun which I think made it more fun for the kids. I think the combination of weight loss and increased exercise has somehow allowed me to regain some of my lost confidence. If I can do this after losing 38lb, then imagine what amazing feats I could accomplish after losing 50 or 100lb! I’ll be leaping tall buildings with a single bound before you know it! (Or cranking out proper push-ups!) I am my own superhero.
(I am still enchanted by the little girl who told me that Superman’s powers come from his super-pants. ”They make him big and strong. And bouncy, too.”)