As a parent, you discourage your children from keeping secrets.
Especially secrets that they hear from another adult. Any adult.
That’s why when my son said..
Captain America told Hallie and I a secret.
…my husband and I raised a questionable eyebrow as a reactive, protective parent response.
My children had stood in line to get a picture taken with the Captain and Thor. Their excitement was electric and whatever those heroes would say to my kids who believe in their heart of hearts that these guys were the real superheroes they see in the movies was going to remain in their innocent, child brains FOREVER. I mean, it was a superhero. Or rather, a guy dressed up as the superhero character at Disneyland.
But if Captain America told you a secret when you were 7 years old, wouldn’t you keep it?!?
Now, anyone who has ever stood in a line 40 families deep just to get a photo with your child’s favorite icon knows that there is a bit of dialogue that goes along with a character meet and greet. You may not hear all that is said. For the most part, their is a liaison or monitor standing close by as a witness. I would like to think that the exchange that my kids had with Captain A. was pretty much superhero-y motivational mumbojumbo and nothing to really be concerned about.
In fact, I think it went something like this:
Hi there! Nice to meet you. I’m Captain America. What shall I call you?
Hallie: I’m Hallie
Conner, Hallie, it’s a pleasure.
You know what this uniform stands for, right? Truth. Justice. Doing the right thing. Being honorable.
H: (nods head)
And sometimes doing the right thing is scary. Fighting for truth and justice can be hard to do. And I’ll tell you a secret…
I get scared. A lot. And that’s okay. If you get scared, I won’t say anything. I promise to keep your secret if you keep mine.
And that’s only because I don’t want the enemies of the USA to get wind that I can’t handle what they do to us. They are no match to my friends and I. Scared or not, we’ll do the right thing by the people of this Earth. By you, Conner and Hallie.
Now, let’s give our best bravery pose…
It’s my honor to protect you both.
I’m sure that’s not exactly what he said but that seemed right in my head.
Afterwards, Conner told us he wouldn’t tell us Captain America’s secret to any of us. At first, it concerned me but then…
Mom, Dad wants to know the secret that Captain America told me but I promised.
“Did he use a bad word to you or your sister?”
“Did he talk to you about your body or your sister’s?”
“Did he talk about being a superhero, being brave, getting bad guys, believing in him and his friends? ”
“Honey, you keep your promise. It sounds like he just wanted you to be brave and be good and tell you something about being a hero that parents might not believe anymore because parents worry and get scared for their kids. If he didn’t say anything inappropriate, and you know what I mean by that, you can keep his secret.”
Thanks, Mom. I didn’t want to disappoint him.
Of course not. I wouldn’t either.
After all, he knows the Hulk.
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