Midnight last night found my husband cleaning out my bathroom sink for me, clogged up by my curly tresses. It’s an icky job, and it requires some handyman work. We should have started the process earlier, of course, but I always forget about it until I’m getting ready for bed. Hence the midnight extraction.
As I stood by doing nothing to help (what could I do?), I thought, “This man is my superhero.”
In all the male superhero movies, the masked man swoops in out of nowhere and sweeps up his love interest just in the nick of time before she gets annihilated by some crazy monster. Then he disappears.
That’s nice and all, but I don’t typically find myself facing crazy monsters. Crazy monstrous hairballs that back up my sink and stress me out, on the other hand… those happen with some regularity.
The fact is, we don’t live in superhero movies. Our men don’t have supernatural abilities. Thank goodness! I don’t think I’d feel very comfortable trying to live life with a man who had supernatural abilities and carried the burden of saving the world.
And our enemies don’t have the power to transform into mutated monsters. Double thank goodness! I don’t have to face catastrophic nightmares on a regular basis!
What I do face day in and day out are the regular burdens of life. Clogged sinks, trying to eat healthy, stressful work situations, griefs from the broken world around us and in us. And rather than having a masked man swoop in for a moment and then disappear just as suddenly, I find that the real superhero is the man who is present in the day-to-day moments.
In the months after Nagib and I got married, I was amazed to find that I felt rested. After many years of being single, just having this man who steadily walked alongside me in the ups and downs of this world was life-giving. I had no idea how heavy that load was when it was all on my shoulders. I needed to share the burden.
I know I’m not the only person out there who feels this way, and I’m certainly not the first to comment on it. But it bears repeating. In our superhero culture, it can be easy sometimes to compare our lives with the fantasy on the screen.
But the real superheroes are the ones who are committed and present, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish ‘til death do us part.
So to all our superheroes out there – we salute you. You’re saving our worlds, one clogged drain at a time.