Friends and Superheroes


Colin loves to draw superheroes and talk about their high mission in the world “to fight for justice and peace, and the preservation of free will,” he says.  He often names the superheroes after real friends—Sadie, Jack, Emma, Carter, Elsa, Jake—adding words like “the great,” “invincible,” “mega,” “wizard,” “princess,” “turbo,” and “lightning.”

These superhero friends are the ones that find him on the playground at recess, drop off Valentines at the house, join him for play dates and Saturday afternoon matinees, and invite him to birthday parties—all things my wife Maura and I feared would come hard to him. But it is not so.

One photograph of my son Colin with his friends gives me more hope for the future than any assurances from teachers, IQ tests, report cards, or evaluations from pediatricians and psychologists.

Colin’s on the left in the yellow shirt, superhero friends all around.

Colin’s on the left in the yellow shirt, superhero friends all around.

There he is among school friends. He’s one of them, proud of them, loyal to the bone, smitten, accepted by them perfectly in this captured instant. His face says: Look at me. Look at me. Here I am with my friends. Aren’t they something? Can you see them? Do you see?

Of course, the hours of ordinary days and encounters don’t sustain the perfection of this moment, but they don’t erase it either.

About slcantwell25

A writer focused on the transforming power of memory, autism, parenting, and the ways we know what we know.
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1 Response to Friends and Superheroes

  1. mewhoami says:

    You son’s drawings are excellent! My son (who is also autistic) loves to draw too. It’s fascinating to see the inner workings of their minds, on paper.

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