It is meta. Profound. Universal. SUPER.
On one hand, it's Judah's obsession with all-things super-hero. But on the other hand, it's really about mankind's obsession with all-things ubermensch, isn't it?
Judah, like any kid his age, is in the full swing of super-hero enthrallment now. A year ago he didn't know anything about super-heroes and now he knows everything about every member of the Justice League AND the Avengers (and it's been quite the learning curve for his completely oblivious mother too).
Now our house is littered with preschooler comic books (who knew that market even existed?!) and swords and capes. Judah loves dressing up like a super-hero and forces me to pretend that I don't know his secret identity (spoiler alert: it's really Judah). If I don't play along or accidentally call him "Judah" there are many hot angry tears.
Judah used to just stick with dressing up as Batman (thanks to an amazing costume he got for Christmas) but now he's invented so many other characters, I never know who I'm dealing with. He usually just stands in front of me with his "badass" face on and I have to say Whoah...uh, who are you?! How did you get here?
Meet some of the cast favorites: Night Ninja
Mere mortals have no idea who he really is because he's always wearing sunglasses.
Super Pirate, always appears fresh out of a bath.
And has a side-kick, Paunchy Pirate
Noah loves to copy his brother but fails to understand how teddy bears detract from the message.
And here's, regular ol' Super Judah (not to be confused with Judah in a hoodie).
|If no capes or towels are readily available, a hoodie always saves the day.|
|Noah now honestly believes this is how you wear a hoodie jacket properly.|
Then after telling me the name of his newly invented super-hero character, Judah then says something like, Where's Judah? I want to play with him.
We chat back and forth about Judah in the third person and how disappointed Judah is going to be because he missed this visit from Night Ninja / Super Pirate / Super Bat Ninja / Super Pirate Batman / [Insert newest dude here]. And the whole time Judah is calling me, Mom, uh, I mean, Ms. Christina because of course he's not Judah and I'm not his mother.
This kid can stay "in character" so long it starts to freak me out a little...like, is this the beginning of me realizing that you're schizophrenic?
Anyway, all the super-hero impersonation has started to bleed into "real life" Judah. A couple weeks ago Judah's grandma visited and Judah had his "super-hero mean muggin" face on in almost every picture.
|I can't explain Noah's face...I guess he's just really excited about his milk.|
Apparently Judah feels like he no longer needs a costume to activate the badass within.
|Don't mind the drool on my belly!|
|I still drool. You gotta problem with that punk?|
All this obsession with being "tough" can get pretty ridiculous. We were at a birthday party last weekend and Judah got into a "tough-off" (my made up term) with another preschooler--each one picking up foam swords and guns trying to show the other that they were tougher.
At one point, Judah turns to me and says, Mommy, do I look tough?, striking his baddest, meanest tough-guy pose.
And I dutifully replied, Of course, Judah!
Which Judah proudly reported to his "tough-off" competitor--Mommy said I look tough!--as if that settled the matter.
Yeah, not so tough after that sentence...
Anyway, I wonder how long this phase will last. Probably his whole life. Heck, I see the exact same super-hero t-shirts and underwear in the men's clothing section as in the kid's section. It never ends, I suppose--the need to feel strong, powerful, competent.
And of course, as Judah gets older he will realize that he is not that strong, powerful, or competent. He is just a man. That's all.
But I hope he will always know that he is loved. Even more so for being just...human.