I saw this Superman onesie and instantly fell in love with it! First, I am a fan of DC and Marvel characters (Contrary to the beliefs of zealots, it is possible to develop an affinity for both). Second, I am a fan of onesies (I own a Darth Vader onesie that is second to none). Third, Jesher has already proven himself to be the possessor of superhuman strength, so I thought this mantling would be fitting.
With this trifecta in mind, the superman onesie is a must-have item for Jesher’s burgeoning onesie collection. I only need to track down a 1ft-long cape to complete the outfit. I can’t wait to see him in it! I can’t wait to hold him above my head and whirl him through the air as his cape flaps in the wind. I can’t wait to take our healthy superhero home for the first time. And I can’t wait to teach him a very important lesson about manhood: Men aren’t made of steel; they break too.
I do like the onesie; however, there is an inherent flaw within the message. Many men have accepted this inaccurate inscription, and they have been led to an early graves because of it. For centuries, masculinity has been defined by a man’s ability to not break, to not show weakness, to not admit inadequacies, to not show susceptibilities. Supermen have been depicted as men of steel, men who do not buckle under the pressure or surrender to structural fatigue. They are regarded as indestructible. They are unbreakable, unstoppable, and undeterred by harsh challenges or impossible tests. They are undefeated champions who are impervious to threat or challenge. Supermen are indestructible. Sound too good to be true? Well it is to good to be true (not even the Superman of DC Universe fits this description). This type of man doesn’t exist.
And so the invitation to be a man of steel becomes an exercise in futility. No matter how hard a man tries, he will never reach the place where he is infinitely durable. Every man is born with limitations; we inherit deficiency as a birthright. All men must face this fact. All men must resolve this tension. All men must arrive to the place where they freely admit this brutal truth: I’m not made of steel; I not bullet proof.
This is why I must teach Jesher to redefine what it means to be a superman. He must learn, at an early age, that men on our planet aren’t made of steel; we are made of bones, and bones break. Without proper training, Jesher will grow to see his weaknesses as unique deformities. He will see himself as an ill-equipped representation of masculinity. He will hate himself, and ultimately destroy his vulnerability. I can’t let that happen, so I will teach him a superior definition of masculinity. I will teach him to be a man of principle…a man who doesn’t relinquish his convictions whenever it is convenient. And I will teach him to be a man of limits…a man who never forgets how fragile life truly is.
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
FIVE SENSES–This coming week, Jesher will begin undergoing tests that gauge the development of his senses. He is scheduled to have an eye and an ear specialists perform these tests within the next 96 hours. As we have reiterated throughout this journey, we believe no deficit, disease, or disorder will overtake our son. Therefore, we are claiming that these tests will yield amazing results. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO CAUSE JESHER’S SENSES TO BE PERFECTLY DEVELOPED IN JESUS NAME.
EXTUBATION–Jesher’s medical team believes he is getting very close to not needing ventilator support. Although we are excited about Jesher’s improved breathing, we also don’t want him to be extubated and then re-intubated due to a premature diagnosis of his lung health. When his breathing tube is pulled, we don’t want him to go through the discomfort of having the breathing tube placed back in his throat. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO GUIDE THE DOCTORS AS THEY MAKE DECISIONS FOR JESHER’S CARE; ASK GOD TO ENSURE THAT THE STEPS OF HIS CARE GIVERS ARE ORDERED BY THE LORD.
33 WEEKS OLD–Jesher has reached his 33rd week of gestation! If he was still in the womb, he would be around 18 inches long and 5lbs. Due to his premature birth, he is still only 15.5 inches long and 2lbs/8oz. We do realize that the trauma of premature birth does slow down the growth process, but we also realize that Jesher must reach certain size thresholds before he is discharged. PLEASE TELL GOD THAT YOU WANT TO SEE JESHER GROW! TELL HIM THAT YOU WANT TO SEE JESHER “INCREASE IN WISDOM AND STATURE AND IN FAVOR WITH GOD AND MAN.”
Even though Jesher cannot fully understand me, I will often pull up a chair and tell him about my insecurities. I tell him how hard it is to visit him in a hospital everyday. I tell him how challenging it is to be a father and a husband at the same time. I tell him how difficult it is to maintain my principles when I am upset. I tell him how degrading it feels to admit my limitations when I feel helpless. I tell him these things because I need to start nurturing a healthy vulnerability in my son, and this can’t happen unless I first model it in my own life. And I can’t imagine any better time than this season to practice this skill.
“My son, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you, by making your ear attentive to wisdom, and by turning your heart to understanding, indeed, if you call out for discernment – raise your voice for understanding – if you seek it like silver, and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand how to fear the LORD, and you will discover knowledge about God.” Proverbs 2:1-5