My daughter came to me this morning and told me superheroes aren’t real. That doesn’t sound so bad but less than 9 months ago, before she started school, she wanted to be Batman when she grew up. Firstly she came home and told me she couldn’t be Batman because she was a girl, which upset me a great deal. Now she tells me Batman and all his superhero friends aren’t real because someone at school told her so.
It broke my heart. In my 5 year old little girl I see perfection, innocence, sensitivity. I don’t want her to change. I don’t want the world to stop her being her. But I know it will shape her. It has to. It has shaped me.
My job is to build her resilience with my love. I didn’t have that growing up and have suffered from it. I was given pain at a young age but not the strategies to deal with it. My resilience has taken a long time to build. My inner core is still shaky and in need of constant support.
I told her superheroes did exist. I said she knew that because she was one. We have a story. She was the baby who survived when her brothers and sisters didn’t. “Why are you a superhero?” I asked her. She thought about it before replying, “Because I am strong and I lived.”
Every child has a story. Every child has a core to build strong ready for them to face the world. A world that is sometimes hard and cruel and sometimes soft and kind. Resilience is living through the difficult times and learning to enjoy the good without worrying about what is to come.
I am here to remind my daughter she is strong. That she is a superhero. One day she won’t need me to remind her. She will just know.