Capes are a very real and very credible part of a wardrobe if you are a superhero or under the age of 7. Or, a Liberace impersonator in Vegas.
But assuming you are neither super nor a great pianist, you probably hung up your capes around the time you lost your first tooth.
From Batman to Zorro, the superhero cape seems critical to enhancing one’s strength, speed, and superhuman abilities.
I asked our 5-year-old, who owns a couple of his own, “Why do kids like capes?”
His answer, “Because they flip up in the air and they’re cool.”
With a cape, anything is possible.
When our oldest son, Payton, was 4, he wore his Batman outfit everywhere and anywhere we went for months until the cape was frayed and tattered at the bottom.
For his fifth birthday he had a superhero party and my talented sister-in-law made every kid a cape with the letter of their first name embroidered on the back. It was so fabulous seeing lots of children in black capes, each with a different letter, “fly” around our backyard.
One year, our daughter’s teacher made each of her students a hand sewn birthday cape and presented it to them on their birthday. Janey’s was red material with tiny white stars, cinched at the neck and tied with silky white ribbon. She adored the cape and it was a staple in her life for a long time.
Superman, Batman, the Green Lantern, Robin, Zorro, Wonder Woman, even Captain Underpants, (from the wildly popular children’s book series) all wear capes. Although with the latter, I have to admit the allure may be the underpants.
I don’t know when it happened, but at some point, a few soccer moms morphed and along came another mythical superhero:
It’s a cook.
It’s a professional.
It’s a nurturing parent.
We all know at least one. The mom who seems to have it all figured out. Can balance a job, exercise routine, and family with such organization and ease, you feel there must have been some secret seminar in some bat-cave somewhere that you missed. Supermom’s house is always clean, she chairs the school carnival committee, and donates blood.
If she had a cape I bet dollars to donuts she could fly, too.
Supermom I am not.
However, I got to thinking about the cape part. Maybe if I wore a cape the piles of clean laundry (my kryptonite) I could finally fold and put away. But mostly I was thinking if I wore a cape, I could use the imagination part to my advantage.
Rather than telling the kids to load the dishwasher for the umpteenth time, wearing a cape, I could inform the kids they were on a mission to help me rid the world of the evils of dirty dishes. We would mastermind a plan of uncovering the identity of the real floor in their bedrooms by removing all the decoys.
I really started getting excited about my plan. OK, FULL disclosure here: I actually went on eBay and Amazon and did a search for a Supermom cape.
Nothing. Nada. They do not exist.
Holy imagination, I think we are missing a huge opportunity here. Anyone reading this know how to sew?
The cape is only the beginning. I would like to borrow the idea of Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth. If I took a length of rope and spray painted it gold, wore it on my hip and bound my kids from time to time when I needed to know the truth, I am sure CPS would be in support.
Equally handy would be a utility belt like Batman wears. Batman’s utility belt is one of his most important tools in fighting crime. Likewise, a Supermom utility belt would be integral to fighting grime.
Every mother has felt that what is being asked of her at times requires superhuman abilities. Perhaps imagination is the best antidote to put a little POW! and BAM! into our jobs.
A cape is just the thing I need to earn the respect of our little jokers.