Eric Lightning Saves the Day

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Behavior
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Here’s the deal. When I was just a young, adorable tot, I would put on a cape and run around the house performing heroic deeds. I called myself Eric Lightning.

Not a bad name for a superhero. I give younger, smaller Makya a lot of credit. Rather than just pretending to be Spiderman or Batman, I created my own identity. Eric Lightning. And what the name “Eric” lacks in superheroness…is more than made up for when you add the “Lightning.”

I have but the vaguest recollection of my former alter ego. I don’t remember my specific super powers. I imagine I was faster than a speeding house cat, more powerful than a slightly younger child, and able to leap tall couch cushions in a single bound. I was a mild-mannered Kindergartner by day, but don’t let the Scooby Doo backpack and juice box fool you…all criminals know that before the storm, comes the Lightning.

Lightning over Pentagon City in Arlington, Vir...

It's a bird...It's a plane...

I’d like to think I had a secret lair. Maybe a mask that, while it only covered my forehead and eyes, rendered me completely unrecognizable to those closest to me. A utility belt complete with ultra-cool grappling hook gun that would allow me to casually ascend out of frame like it was no big deal. But the truth is my only assets were a cape and an overactive imagination.

But the beauty of it is that that was enough. I miss the years when make believe could get you through the day. Plus, it was good for you. Not only is it how children learn, some scientists theorize that this type of play can actually create synaptic connections in parts of the brain. Not too shabby for an old blanket with a yellow lightning bolt sewn on.  

So, in an effort to reintroduce a little playful magic back into my life, I did what any rational blogger would do and Googled, “Eric Lightning.” Imagine my minimal surprise when I found that Mr. Eric Lightning had a facebook account. While I considered friending my namesake, I thought better of it. There is, after all, a strong possibility that the Eric Lightning on facebook is an alternate version of myself. In another reality I may have never given up the name. I may have grown up to be a crime fighter rather than growing up to be some guy who writes ridiculous blog entries about how he might also exist in a parallel universe where he grew up to be a crime fighter.

But I still think we could all use a little more Eric Lightning in our lives. If make believe helps develop emotional, cognitive, and social skills in the brain of the child, why can’t it do the same for an adult? It’s time for a new and improved Eric Lightning. An Eric Lightning that can benefit my adulthood. A superhero who can erase a lifetime of debt with a KAPOW! A superhero who can improve a resume with a WHAM! A superhero who can fly through the air and karate kick ne’er-do-wells with a mighty KABLUEY! (I still want it to be fun).

Because the truth is, when I hear the name “Eric Lightning,” I feel just a little bit more powerful. A smile spreads across my face. And some small part of me clings to a faint memory of a little kid running around in circles in the front yard and imagining a world in which anything is possible.

I’m off to make my new cape.

  1. heathersnyder1 says:

    Yayyy Eric Lightning!

    I was Super Girl, Wonder Woman and C-3PO (not at the same time). I had the Underoos-the underwear that’s fun to wear (and yes, they made C-3PO girls underwear). So I would run around battling the forces of evil. I even had an invisible plane when I was Wonder Woman.

    Then the other make believe thing my sisters and I would do was pretend our huge bed was a ship. We would sail the seven seas in search of a college to attend. We would take all the books that we owned off of the bookshelves and pile them onto our ship. That was so much fun.

    Yayyy for make believe!

  2. Lokyra Stone says:

    I think that is what was wrong with my childhood. I never had underoos.
    I was She-Ra. And myself. I thought I was pretty damn super all on my own. I could leap out of tall trees, climb higher than all my friends, and I made my two best friends as a kid by beating them up when they both jumped me the first day we moved to the neighborhood.

    My family kept a huge trunk full of costumes. We would don random costumes and run around being lunatics all the time. It was great.

    You should definitely post a picture of you in your cape. Then we need to find someone to make you a theme song.

    • Makya McBee says:

      Heather – Yes, nothing is more fun than piling literary material on a bed…read ’em and weep, suckas.

      Lokyra – The family that plays together stays together (and it doesn’t hurt if they’ve got some junk in the trunk).

    • heathersnyder1 says:

      I loved She-Ra! Princess of Power!!!
      We also had the trunk (and wardrobe) full of costumes, too. This woman my Mom knew gave us all of her vintage dresses and accessories, loved playing dress up with those! I wish I still had them 😦

      • heathersnyder1 says:

        @Makya, it was fun piling the books on the bed and reading all of them…not so much fun when it came time to take them all off of the bed to go to sleep.

  3. Lokyra Stone says:

    Junk in the trunk usually makes life better.
    So does lots of costumes and stuff.

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