We are not a family to waste good car talk time. We often review important matters and solve a variety of social and political problems while driving (sometimes we sing, too, but that's a private matter). Yesterday we addressed the all important question of "What superpower would you choose?"
Emma, who started the whole discussion, was in favor of the power to read minds. Not the kind where everyone's random thought are assaulting you all the time, but the kind of mind reading that she could control so that if she really wanted to, she could find out what was on someone's mind. We all agreed that this would be pretty cool, although I felt obligated to point out that you might not like everything that you were suddenly privy to. Emma wasn't too concerned about this, which makes me think that the inside of her head must be a much kinder, gentler place than the inside of mine.
Nate wanted the power to make things appear from his hands. Things like swords, snacks, and toys. He also thought he would like to be able to make school appear -- just for a minute--so that if he missed the bus he could hop inside the building and then make it go back where it belongs, a power that would have been very useful this morning. This kind of advanced thinking should not surprise us: Nate is also the designer of Clipper Shoes (TM), the eco-friendly solution to the modern dilemma of how to save gas, mow the lawn, and get your exercise all at the same time. Clipper Shoes are equipped with lawn cutting blades which permit the wearer to run around the lawn, shortening the grass and strengthening the legs in one efficient movement. In addition to traditional lawn maintenance, the shoes would be useful for carving designs or messages into the grass, which could then be viewed from an airplane.
Matty liked Nate's superpower idea, although he was mostly interested in being able to produce weapons so that he could defeat all the bad guys.
Isabel answered without hesitation that she would like to be a shape shifter. She remained very mysterious about this power and would not elaborate on her plans, so we're not entirely sure whether she would use her powers for good or evil.
I thought it would be really cool to be able to speak and understand other languages (like all of them, you know?). Can you imagine how amazing it would be to go anywhere and be able to talk to the people there? My children could not. I was ridiculed for squandering my superpower opportunity on languages. "Really, Mom?" (this was Emma) "You could fly, or be super strong, or read people's minds, or have an unlimited supply of yarn, and you choose languages?" Think about it, though: if I really want to fly, I can take an airplane; if I get too strong, my kids will want me to carry even more of their stuff; and considering what some people are willing to say out loud, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know what's going on inside their heads. And I wouldn't need unlimited yarn, because with The Power of Languages, I could go anywhere in the world (or the universe, if we're going to make this a true superpower) and get directions to the nearest yarn shop. So I would be all set, right? My kids remain unconvinced, but I think I'm on to something.