The Spark in the Dark that Almost Killed Me


I was sitting down to enjoy those bonbons everyone talks about when I heard the call from the top of the steps.

“Mom! Come quick,” my handsome son implored.

His face was pale and his brow glistening with sweat, like he’d seen a ghost.

“Something just happened to me in my bed. I wasn’t expecting it and I don’t know what to do.”

Oh, God. I knew eventually this would happen, but I was not prepared. I vaguely remembered a few terms from family life class in fifth grade. Yes, I have three boys and am well-versed in the equipment, but I would never pretend I actually know how it works. And, of course, his father wasn’t home. He’s never home for the good stuff. He missed the slammed door, resulting in fingernail removal. He conveniently lost out on the insane diaper blowout that ended with me cutting the baby’s clothes off. He was missing in action when I was showering and saw four-year-old eyes creeping at me, became startled, and shaved off enough skin to require stitches. He never gets to have any fun.

I took a deep breath, strapped on my best Dr. Ruth, and got ready for, “the talk.”

“Come on down and we’ll chat.” Now I was the one covered in sweat.

“OK. But mom, I think dad would be a better person to talk to. I mean, I think he knows more about it than you do.”

Astute observation, but dad was enjoying the good life, the kind with beer, somewhere else.

“I know more than you think,” I lied. We Catholics invented confession for moments like this.

“Alright. I am just going to say it. I know I was supposed to be sleeping, but I was in my bed playing.”

My pulse was racing. My entire adolescence flashed before me.

“I quickly moved my fingers across the blanket. It felt funny, like it never has before,” he continued.

“Uh, huh.” My eyes were like saucers. I hung on his every word. I could only mumble incoherently, and that was giving it my very best.

“And then, suddenly, blue electric shocks started coming out of my fingers. The more I moved my hands, the more came out. I couldn’t believe it, mom! Do you know what this means?”

This is the part when I briefly blacked out.

“No, baby, what does it mean?”

“It means that I am starting to get my powers. It means that I am officially Justice League material. It means that super heroes are absolutely real. When is dad going to be home? He is going to freak out.”

For the record, Benjamin Franklin, I think we know what really happened.

Leave a Reply