Children react and cope with crisis in different ways. Some act out, others harm others, others harm themselves, the list goes on. From the onset, I coped by dreaming: I yearned to be a superhero and often fantasized (and still do) about having an alter-ego and going off to save strangers. I wanted to save people I didn't even know, probably because it was so much harder to save the people I already knew, like my dad. It was much easier to swoop in and swoop out.
When I was younger, my disguise was perfect: nerdy, straight-A 2nd grader with parted-hair and black-rimmed glasses. I remember when my dad would go on his violent streaks, my mom and I would spend a lot of time together locked in my bedroom. She watched TV and guarded the door, and I played pretend with my Superman action figure after I finished my homework. The interesting thing was, when I played with that Superman action figure, I wasn't a spectator witnessing Superman's heroics. I was the action figure; it wasn't Christopher Reeve (or more recently Henry Cavill). It was me making the "WHOOOSH" sound to mimic my own supersonic speed as I flew around my 12-inch globe, saving people across continents.
My mom may have taught me the value of a good work ethic, but DC superheroes like Superman taught me many of the values my parents missed. Values and skills like loyalty, grit, courage, social responsibility, and conscientiousness: these were "noncognitive skills" I would've loved to have learned via my parents, but instead I learned them from text in bubbles. Since DC Comics taught me so much, I'm not at all embarrassed to admit I have seen the trailer below for the Man of Steel over ten times already.
Yeah, that was awesome.