I am not afraid to compare myself to Super Woman or the ever powerful Princess Leia. Taking pride in super woman status does not make me cocky, arrogant, or self- absorbed; nor, am I afraid to draw a comparison to Hillary Clinton, who, potentially, is our next presidential leader of this great nation, recently criticized for falling ill. Illness happens, as does injury, even to presidents, teachers, bankers, and, yes, mark my words, even Super Woman. Like me, Super Woman is confident, smart, optimistic, energetic, and loves a good costume. Super Women include my mom, cousins, childcare providers and friends, managing the fine (and not so fine) balance of working with raising children and getting them to soccer practice, remembering to occasionally grocery shop, etc. I would be remiss in not giving a shout out to the Super Women who raise their children full time because that requires extra special powers. The celebrity super women I would like to meet one day when I become famous because True North has topped the New York Times bestseller list would include but not be limited to: Michelle Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and Barbara Walters. And to the Super Men and Super Women of the Rio Paralympics, thank you for showing the world your strength, ability, and determination. We can all be more than we maybe thought back in seventh grade.
Most of the time we make it through the day, appearing relatively successful on the outside. The lunch boxes have been rinsed out, ice packs back in the fridge, a multitude of water bottles refilled for the next day. Until the day comes, which happens infrequently thank goodness, but it does occasionally happen, when we are forced to lay down our capes and light sabers. We get sick or injured. Or, in my case, fall asleep on the couch in a seated position just long enough to wreck my neck, some muscles, along with a disc or two.
But that is what actually scares me most these days: sustaining an injury and not being able to perform the many roles life requires of us. For example, recently, while competing in the biking portion of our favorite triathlon at Squam Lake, I kept returning to this idea of- if I fell how- long would it take for someone to find me and get medical attention. I’m an optimist; this kind of thinking is foreign to me.
I am a Super Woman, and I’m proud of that. Play dates or sleepovers with 4 or 5 children do not scare me. Spontaneous barbecues for 20 on the weekend do not phase me. They do not happen on a school night though because I know my limits. Neighborhood bike rides and hikes and parent teacher conferences with challenging parents: bring it on! Our house is not clean, and our kids are far from perfect, but I have a good sense they will be okay in the world because we are letting them get bumped, bruised, and be busy outside. Instead of a cape, I wear sensible teacher shoes. Let’s be clear: I am not a fancy super woman. When a freshmen girl told me she was thinking about dressing like me for our spirit week Dress-Like-Your-Teacher Day, I was truly honored and said, “Wow, that will be fun– because no one has ever done that.” Her sidekick friend chimed in, “Krill, it’s because you don’t have a signature style.” And it’s true, she is right; I do not have a signature style. Mr. Baker next door who has been teaching math for 30 years wears classic ties and pants and shirts probably original to that polyester time period. He has signature style even if it is not current.
Aunt Sue was right when she told me I have control issues. But I really like being a super woman; life is too short to watch life only through social media or waste it away inside cleaning my house. Thank you to local chiropractor Janelle Bard who has spent a LOT of time with me in the last week, and to my OT friend Rina Drake who sat on my back Friday, like a good friend does, to massage my neck. Thank you to my parents and neighbors for entertaining our kiddos. Injury reminds us to slow down and take stock of what we have, which in my case is a whole lot. I am Super Woman. Hear me roar. Or, hear me roar later, maybe tomorrow, when my neck feels better.
If you need copies of True North, I’ll be at Lin-Wood’s Homecoming. Find me and say hello!