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09/19/2013

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Every so often I do what any good mother does... tells a bunch of second graders that she's really Wonder Woman.

Here's how it went down: I'm volunteering at my daughter's school as they collaborate on a very special art project, with a rather important artist, who shall remain nameless. In kid's language: it's a really big deal; and my role, as art assistant, is to make sure the kids don't paint each other or stick their blue-glue hands on the walls. This is not an easy task.

When the second grade class walked in, I noticed a little boy running around with no particular interest in working. After a few minutes of me watching him fail miserably at being class clown, he finally walked up to me and said, "Hey... do you know anything about superheroes?" I shook my head, rolled my eyes and chuckled, "What... are you kidding me?" In his confused state, he came a little closer, "Huh?" he shrugged. "Oh never-mind," I began, "I shouldn't have said anything." Now he's standing almost on my foot. "Well if your going to sit on my lap, why don't you grab a piece of paper and start dipping!" I snapped. He smiled, grabbed a shred of paper and dipped it in the glue... "So... what were you going to say?" he asked. "Well!" I said, "I could tell you, but I don't know you and if word got out on the street about this, it could seriously hinder my career. Get some more paper, buddy, we've got a lot of work to do." He grabbed another piece, "I promise I won't say anything!" he advised. "Oh sure, that's what everyone says, but the minute they find out: BOOM! I just can't risk it, sorry." 

We went back and forth like this for five minutes or so, "I'm not like everyone else." he swore, "I can keep a secret. I promise. Please! Please! Please?!" I stepped back, took a deep breath and said, "Okay, but you gotta swear!" "I swear, I swear!" he screamed. "You're never gonna believe me, I don't even know why I'm bothering." I mumbled. "Oh please... I promise I'll believe you and I won't say a word. You can trust me!" he said with confidence. "Fine." I demanded, "...but it's against my better judgment." I hesitated long enough to make him wonder, staring him dead in the eye the whole time, then I slowly leaned over and whispered in his ear, "I'm Wonder Woman.

For the next 20 minutes, I was a superhero and he was my sidekick. I lunched with Batman, went on frequent shopping trips with my cousin Isis, and I even shared my defeat strategy of homemade Pumpkin Pie against The Green Lantern (he'd do just about anything for a bite of it!). Though he would occasionally try and challenge my level of expertise, I was always quick with a response and a sarcastic little laugh to seal the deal. By the end of our time together, he was sold. "I've got to go wash my hands," he said. "Well now I know you're not a superhero!" I laughed, despite his previous claim that he was, in fact, the Wolverine. "Yes I am!" he screamed. I nodded my head, got down on one knee and said, "Everyone knows... a real superhero never whines. It's number one in the rule book." He gave me the same sweet smile my daughter does every-time Santa leaves our house, "I won't say anything." I wanted to hug this little boy for giving me such a wonderful experience, but instead of ending up in prison for child pornography, I opted to just smile back, "I know you won't. Thanks for helping me today!"

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