Thursday, October 24, 2013

Every Kid Needs a Cape

Halloween is just around the corner.  I know a little boy who is getting a cape. And it will change his life.

He won’t need instructions.  He will know immediately what to do with it. He’ll put it on and become invincible.

Suddenly, he’ll be able to fly.  He’ll be able to jump higher than any kid around.  He’ll be strong and brave.  His cape will make him run faster.  He will see further and better.  He will be impervious even if he doesn’t know what impervious means.

Author's son Halloween 1992 -
His secret identity is kept safe here.
That’s what capes do.

I had a cape when I was a kid.  Actually, I had several. They were white, and blue, and yellow and sometimes they had a floral print on them. All were made of terry cloth.  How they looked depended on what was in my mother’s towel closet at the time.  I had used an old safety pin from one of my brother’s diapers to fasten my cape around my neck.

When I wore my cape I was Superman, and I could fight the imaginary bad guys and win every time.  I could fly and jump high.  Bullets from invisible bad guys couldn’t hurt me.  Capes are good.

I don’t know how many men had capes when they were boys.  But I do know that if they did, they’d never forget the feeling of wearing one.  Capes feel good.

Those of us who had capes put them away sometime before we were ten.  After that, when we really needed them, we had to rely on our imaginary capes.

A tough guy taking lunch money in the school cafeteria?  Sure could use that cape.  The day they make basketball team cuts?  Cape could come in handy.  First crush breaks up right after the movie?  Need that cape.

I felt like I was wearing a cape the day I passed my driver’s test, and again when I climbed the fence to night swim at the pool after the lifeguards had gone, and once again when I saw that quarterback fumble the football…after I hit him.  Capes are cool, especially imaginary ones.

Think about it. Think about all the times in our lives when we donned capes. 

Remember the day the cape looked and felt more like a graduation gown?  Or that wedding day when people clapped just because you entered the room in a rented tux and an imaginary cape, of course.  What about the day your kids were born?  I watched mine arrive as I wore a set of blue scrubs and an imaginary blue scrub cape.  I remember flying.  Capes are fun.
Author's younger son Halloween 1996 -
That's a tall building he just leaped over.

At some point after we’ve embarked on our life’s work, we may have become the go-to-guy for something.  And that’s when we dusted off that cape once again.  In PR, we deliver communications solutions to difficult problems.  We wear PR capes. The people around us just don’t know it.

And then at some point, people close to us – or even strangers – may find themselves counting on us, and it’s important.  They sure hope someone near them is wearing a cape.  Every day, there are no shortages of capes in the streets, in hospitals and emergency rooms.  I’ve seen them.  Capes are real.

I know a little boy who is getting a cape, and it will change his life.  Because like everyone who wears a cape, he will change the lives of others. 

Every kid needs a cape.

You can make a difference.  Check out this organization that helps give kids super powers through capes.  Capes for Kids - Child Cancer Patients

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