Tonight the boys' school had an open house at their new school building followed by a puppet performance by Open Eye Theater. We enjoyed seeing the new building, having fun, and seeing friends.
Afterward, the boys played for a while with other friends while the adults talked. At one point we saw Nils with three sticks between his fingers on each hand. I knew right away that he was pretending to be Wolverine from the X-Men comic books (Anders had checked one out at the library recently). (We did joke, however that he was pretending to be Freddy Krueger since he watches a Nightmare on Elm Street movie before going to bed each night--again, another joke.)
As Nils was playing with the other kids, he did a good job of not moving in a way that could harm someone--swinging his "claws" down instead of up and such.
They like to play superheroes. Usually it's Batman, Iron Man or Spiderman (especially the last two as we purchased costumes on sale from a store super cheap a few Halloweens ago). They like to read comic books and watch some cartoons (the only movie we've let them watch is the old Superman movie).
Superheroes, at their essence, are role models for us all. While we will likely never get bitten by a radio-active spider or experience a burst of gamma radiation, we all have the potential to do good. Superheroes are servants of the communities in which they reside. They seek to help those in need and to bring justice where there isn't any.
Of course, comic books also come with violence and other things that you don't always want impressionable young minds to interact with, but we try to find the "safer" books from the kids' section of the library. And I guess on the plus side, the action from the books leads them to active playing.
But more than that, I hope that the kids take with them the goal of making the world a better place--of serving others, of seeking justice, of righting wrongs. I hope that someday--even in the not-too-distant future--that the boys will be superheroes in their own rights. With their tender hearts (Anders loves to look out for younger kids and Nils likes to help people) they're on their way.