Whatever a Spider Can

I came across this little story when I was looking for something else. It was originally submitted to a contest (which it clearly didn’t win!) so I thought I’d share it here. This is not fiction! It actually happened.

My son, Matthew, loves superheroes. Even now, when he is almost twenty, he is crazy about the heroes of both the Marvel and DC universes. Fortunately, Matt still loves this story and sees the humor in it, even now that he is a grown-up or I couldn’t tell it to you. I guess the subtitle should be, “Matt and his (short) Web Swinging Career.

Matt was 5-years old when the first Spider-Man movie came out in 2002. He could barely wait to see it. We watched all of the trailers on the web, I taught him the Spider-Man song, and all three of us, my husband, my son, and I went to the movie and had a wonderful time.

Matt, normally a non-stop talker, watched the movie in silence. He even forgot his pop corn, he was so involved with the story unfolding on the screen. After the movie, he told us how much he thought he looked like Tobey Maguire, told us he wanted to be just like Spider-Man, and a lot of his play involved incidents from the movie. It was obvious he liked it, but a few days later, two incidents told us just how much. The first happened late at night. My husband called me to come to the bathroom and see what “my” son had done.

I was concerned until I registered the barely restrained laughter in my husband’s voice. When I got to the bathroom, I saw that Matt had drawn spider webs on his face, his arms, and his legs with a marker. “I just wanted to be like Spider-Man,” he said. He really couldn’t see that the permanent ink was a problem until we started scrubbing.

The next day I was walking down the hall with an armful of laundry when I heard my son say, “This should do for web swinging.”

I looked into his room and nearly had a heart attack. Matt stood on the edge of his bed, holding the venetian blind cord firmly in both hands. His knees were slightly bent and it was clear that he was about to launch himself into the air. Since his bed is one of those with drawers under it, it is nearly 4′ off the ground.

Laundry went flying as I dashed into the room to grab him before he could jump. He was quite exasperated with me, even after the ten-minute lecture on how badly he could hurt himself and he reluctantly promised that his web swinging career was over before it began.

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