To say that my nephews are into superheroes is sort of like saying that humans are fond of air. My mackerdoodle knew of the existence of superheroes before our last visit to Canada, but spending more than a week with her cool cousins broadened her appreciation of them. She also suspects that her Uncle Brian is a hockey superhero.
Periodically questions about superheroes will emerge from the fantastic place that is my daughter’s brain. She is beginning to compare the superheroes and their skills, understand the concept of sidekick and more than anything has grasped the fact that what makes the superheroes heroes is that they help people who can’t help themselves. This has stuck in her brain and we talk about it a lot. We’ve used it as a teachable moment to point out that God calls us to be helpers who care for the weak.
One day this week the mackerdoodle was watching a Dora movie that came from Netflix. After the movie the mackerdoodle came up to me with her characteristic list of questions.
mackerdoodle: Mama, Dora helps people, right?
Me: That’s right baby girl.
mackerdoodle: She can’t fly.
mackerdoodle: But the things in her backpack help her to help people.
Me: I guess so.
mackerdoodle: Sort of like Batman. (pause) Mama, is Dora a superhero?
Now I know this suggestion will make my oldest nephew scream “Noooooooooooooo!” loud enough for me to hear it in St. Louis (Aunty Lily may even hear it in Australia) but she may have a point.
What does Batman have that Dora doesn’t? They both have a collection of cool toys that assist them in helping those around them. They both have sidekicks, a collection of vehicles at their disposal and a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The only two things Dora doesn’t have are a) an over developed sense of personal vengeance and b) a secret identity. Really, doesn’t that make Dora the stronger of the two?
I will grant you that Batman wouldn’t be nearly as exciting if all he had to say was “Joker no killing, Joker no killing,” but I’ve got to say that after pondering my daughter’s question for a few days I have reached the conclusion that if Batman counts as a superhero, then so does Dora the Explorer.
Just don’t tell my nephew Zac. I don’t think he could handle it. 🙂