One of the women I work with brought her young son (I’ll call him Bry) to the office the other afternoon after his bi-monthly doctor’s visit. He’s a cute little bugger, about 8 years old, has an outgoing personality—and a brain tumor.
As is often the case when Bry comes in for a visit, he just opens my office door without knocking, gives me a big ol’ grin, then plops himself down in a chair across from my desk and says, “Hey, whatcha doin?”
Normally we talk about whatever he wants—the frog he found near their mailbox the day before—the cool video game he played last week—stuff like that. Occasionally, though, Bry comes up with some zingers that leave me slack-jawed. This week was one of those times.
“Hey, whatcha doin?”
“Working on my book. What about you? What’s new?”
He sighs and settles back in the chair, feet swinging lazily beneath the seat. “Nothin’. So what’s your book about? Does like somebody beat somebody up in it?”
Grinning, I type a couple more words so I don’t lose a particular thought. “Sorta.”
Bry nods, as if all knowing. I can see more questions swimming in his eyes, and it doesn’t take long before another rises to the surface. “But the good guy wins, right?”
He nods again, his expression serious. “Good.” More feet swinging. A few minutes pass. “Hey . . .”
“Can the good guy in your book climb walls and stuff like Spiderman?”
“Nope, he’s just a regular guy.”
A long moment goes by, then Bry cocks his head. “Hey . . .”
“If you could pick something, what would you pick? What would you wanna do?”
“Whadda you mean? What would I be picking from?”
Bry tsks, as if he’s talking to the slowest right brained person on the planet. “You know, super stuff. Climb walls—see through stuff—be invisible—bus’ up a train with your hands—fly, stuff like that.”
“Ohhhh, super stuff . . .”
His feet resume swinging. “Yeah. What would you wanna be able to do?”
“That’s a good question.”
I thought about it for a few seconds. “Probably see through stuff.”
“‘Cause that way nothing and no one could hide from me.” Where the hell that answer came from I’ll never know, but I figured it would probably fly right over Bry’s head. Instead, he gave me a little grin like he understood the answer completely.
“What about you?” I asked. “What would you wanna be able to do?”
“For a super thing?”
Bry stopped swinging his feet and pursed his lips, thinking. Finally he sighed. “‘Be able to bus’ a train I guess.”
“‘Cause that would mean I’d be strong and wouldn’t have to die.”
Arggg, that was one train I never saw coming. Makes you think about what’s really important, doesn’t it?
What super power would you pick and why?