one family's yearlong dare to live their dreams

What Is Your Superpower?

Everyone has a superpower. Mine is insomnia. Since the fifth grade I’ve faced bouts of sleeplessness, and in college, poring over books, I learned to turn my protracted nights into an academic coup de grace. I came to¬†accept and even love the solitude and starry peace of the nighttime hours. Sleep is for sissies, haven’t you heard? It’s kryptonite.

And so I am awake in my blissfully quiet house on this eve before Christmas Eve. I am awake and thinking about the uber-ambitious project that Michael and I have on our hands with this 2011 Year of Adventure, which begins in (gasp!) just over a week. How will we possibly do everything we are setting out to do, along with the usual demands of a life filled with deadlines, dishes, kids, laundry, dinner, diapers…did I mention kids? I think the insomnia will come in handy.

A few readers have asked recently about our kids, and where exactly they will fit into our Grand and Ridiculously Far-Reaching Scheme for 2011. We plan to take them right along with us on many, though not all, of our adventures. It was Amelie who chose French as the language we will learn, and she is angling for a trip to Paris this summer. This same five-year-old is eager to join me in guitar lessons. She will not go to India with me, nor would she be caught dead meditating for 10 days with her daddy in the Berkshires, though she will jump at the chance to fly an airplane with him.

Jade, just 21 months old, has her own goals and dreams. It will be difficult to pull this wee child away from her most diligently executed toddler project: the complete destruction of our possessions and home. She is making steady progress daily, having broken several glasses and ripped apart many an artful pop-up book. She is now working hard on dismantling the door of the TV cabinet. Thankfully, Jade has another job that she also happens to be very good at: Being adorable. This has saved her butt on many occasions.

But really, this entire plan involves our children, at least tangentially. For they will be seeing their parents do ambitious things. They will see that it is good for the soul to have dreams and to move doggedly toward them. They will, I hope, learn to think large-scale about their own potential for self-realization in (to borrow from Mary Oliver) this one wild and precious life.

How else will they discover their superpowers?

3 Responses to “What Is Your Superpower?”

  1. Julie says:

    Beautifully said Wendy!! Thanks for sharing all of this with us bystanders!!

  2. I have been exploring this secret superpower theme this year by asking a series of people on Flip video “What’s your secret superpower?” I am still compiling it. Looks like I will have to get you on camera too…And I love your response…I wrote my first novel (actually a memoir disguised as a novel) on insomnia…it made a refuge from my then-small daughters, a way to recover my creativity….

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