Growing up I was never into comic books or superheroes. I was much more interested in reading books (The Babysitter’s Club and Nancy Drew anyone?), playing make believe, and Polly Pockets (the real ones with the tiny people). I never wanted to fight or wrestle. When the Marvel Universe superhero movies started I didn’t take much notice. I think Iron Man was the first really big one, but don’t quote me on that, and I was much more focused on my senior thesis and graduating college to pay attention. Honestly, when Marvel movies started popping up everywhere I went to see them with my husband, but still didn’t “buy in” very much.
That all changed when I became a mother of boys who love super heroes.
Maybe it’s because my husband is a fan or maybe it’s just the thing nowadays, but our oldest son has been obsessed with superheroes since he was three or four. At first I didn’t like it much. There was always fighting, usually weapons, and it just seemed so commercial (which to be fair it very much is).
I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to have my kid so interested in. This all changed last summer, when the positive message of Marvel came through to me. Spiderman has long been my husband’s favorite superhero, and a couple years ago (thank you Tom Holland) transferred to our oldest son as well. This summer he had his second surgery for ear reconstruction. This was a 7 hour intensive surgery and at six years old he struggled with it a bit. He had some fear leading up to it and healing took a bit longer than the first. As luck would have it a few months before his surgery the movie, Into the Spiderverse, came out which of course my husband and son couldn’t wait to see.
The message of superheroes (Spiderman in particular this time) is evident in this movie, “You’ll get knocked down but superheroes get back up.”
This message resonated with him in every other Marvel movie that we watched and rewatched, especially during his recovery time.
Resilience is a difficult lesson in life but one that is so essential and so much deeper than just good triumphing evil (we know that is not always real life).
The idea that we will always get knocked down in life but can choose to get back up again is so powerful.
If our children love superheroes, which it is kind of hard to avoid anymore, why not embrace the positive messages that they share. Marvel, and Spiderman, have won me over for good and I now embrace every movie, soundtrack, and hero.
Heck, I even have wonder woman, captain marvel, and groot on my work desk, thanks to my boys.