He sits there among the wreckage of misfired neurons, my bulldozed son, the Flying Viper, grounded by an unexpected seizure on Father’s Day. Every super hero has a weakness, and this is his.
The same compromised brain that gives him surprising strength and energy can, without warning, become a chaotic network of lightning bolts, causing uncontrollable jerking and twitching in his limbs and eyes, that must either pass on their own, or be treated with a secret antidote.
Though his heart, the source of Viper’s indomitable spirit (one of his other super powers), continues its mighty rhythm, the semiconscious state and weakened physical capacity he experiences during a seizure makes him vulnerable. That’s when it helps to have trusty sidekicks like his mother and I.
We’re there to recognize the symptoms, administer the antidote, relay the plan of action in gentle, assured voices, directly to his ears while the medicine does its work, warding off aggressive aliens, or super villain schemes. We lack the special powers he was born with, but are committed to using our limited wits and abilities to support his role as an important super hero in our home, our community, our world.
Sometimes, it is several days before the Flying Viper is back to full power. So, imagine if Gotham City had to depend on Alfred to fight crime for a couple of days. It’s kind of like that. Great intentions, but it just isn’t the same without the Caped Crusader.
And so the Viper sits there, wearing a crooked postictal grin that makes him look a little like Harrison Ford, quietly planning his next move, getting stronger, while we, his faithful sidekicks, stand by with foxhole alacrity, prepared – until he is ready to don the uniform again – to face anything that comes and praying like hell the aliens don’t attack today.