When I was a child and would stay home from school, my mother would sometimes give me a bowl of morning ice cream to cheer me up. I remember this vividly when I was home with the chicken pox. I have fond memories of these moments; they felt more like special events, vacation with my favorite person, rather than times of illness. And there was another vivid recollection I had from these times: I would let the ice cream melt in the bowl, I would stir to help the process along, and then I would drink the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry swirl right up. I did this not because my throat hurt, although that may be how it started, I did this because when I drank the ice cream I was actually drinking a sort of Superhero Soup. My Superhero Soup would give me strength, even health – superpower to get better.
There was another part of this ritual. I would exert mental concentration, to the point of a slightly sore forehead and strained, bugged-out-feeling eyes. Why did I do this? Well of course, I was accessing the Force to lift the spoon out of my ice cream bowl and into my hand.
Childhood Inspirations of Strength
I never lifted the spoon, although I believed I was sometimes close. I did feel better though. I drew on the power and fruits of imagination. They are comforting and healing things.
I started this blog before I knew the story of Batkid and he is a wonderful example of why we need fantasy. Five year old Miles, courtesy of the Make-a-Wish Foundation and thousands of San Franciscans, got to celebrate his remission from a life long battle with lymphoblastic leukemia by living a dream. For a day, he got to ride his own batmobile, rescue a damsel, fight villains and even received a key to the city.
Miles became Batkid and accomplished great feats. Miles had been accomplishing feats since he was diagnosed at 20 months old and I am certain that it wasn’t the first time he did so as his favorite superhero, at least in his own mind. I mean, we need real life super heroes and role models but we know we are not them, they don’t have our exact feelings or experiences, neither do the superheros but because they come from imagination we can make them do anything, be anyone, conquer the unheard of and unimaginable.
What Make-a-Wish and the community did for Miles was amazing and what Batman did for him was too. I can’t help but wonder if Miles sometimes imagined himself as Batman, or Superman, or something with the power of the force to endure and conquer his rounds of chemo and a lifetime of hospital visits. I believe he probably did. And for the time it took to make his wish a reality, an organization a city and everyone watching got to benefit. Thanks Make-a-Wish, thanks San Francisco, thanks Batman.