It doesn’t happen every night – just often enough to be anticipated, infrequently enough to be relished.
But some nights, when Daddy is home, when the pajamas are in the drawer, when the stars align – it happens:
The water is turned off, with a few drops still dripping from the tap into the tub. Fluffy towels are brought out, and he is wrapped up like a burrito. His wet hair lays flat on his head, and he smiles up at his father.
“Can I wear my Superman jammies?”
When he hears the affirmative answer, sometimes I hear him say, “Yes!” I imagine him doing that little fist pump he learned from his big brother. Sometimes I hear nothing, but I imagine his smile and little happy dance he sometimes does.
A few moments later, they appear. His dad announces their arrival with the vocalization of the Superman theme song:
“Da da da da da… da da da.
Da da da da da… da-UMP da da…..
I see him then, beaming, as he is carried out of the bathroom. He is stretched out long, laying across his father’s arms. His own arms are in front of him, reaching. His cape is on his back.
He is flying.
They come down the hall and travel through the kitchen and living room. He flies by his brother and me. He flies high – sometimes his altitude is enough to make me gasp – so high over the mantle, next to the kitchen cabinets – he laughs and exclaims with glee.
I love to watch them. I am not a player in this production; I am simply in the audience as they perform their well-rehearsed scene. I see the joy that it brings to both of them, so I smile, too.
“Is that Super Boy?” I ask. “You’re flying!”
Bravo is getting bigger, now – taller, heavier. I have a feeling that these flights’ days are numbered. The pajamas will soon be too small; his body will be too big, too heavy to stay airborne for long.
We will put the cape away.
But I hope he always remembers how it felt to fly.