It was summer and I was doing what most little boys do in the summertime: riding a bike. I was doing everything that I normally did, ride around the block, skid in my neighbor’s driveway, and jump off of it while it was moving. But this wasn’t just any ordinary casual afternoon bike ride, because I wasn’t riding that bike. Batman was.
Role playing is a natural step in a child’s development, but I probably stretched it to its maximum. It seems like everyday I was a different person. Whether it was Indiana Jones, Luke Skywalker, the Green Ranger, or Superman, I was always someone else. I never wanted to be Luke Campbell. After-all, what could one little boy accomplish? But as a superhero, I was unstoppable.
In as quick as I could think it, I was able to shoot web from my wrists, use the Jedi mind trick, or jump into a giant robot dinosaur. In a flash I was The Flash and every door had a dozen Nazi troops behind it. Every stick was a ninja sword, every pine cone a grenade, and my sunglasses were used to hold back the laser beams that shot out from my eyes. I could become anything I wanted. Who was Luke Campbell?
Props were always useful. The more I looked like the character I was trying to portray, the more I was convinced that I was him. My Mom fashioned me a Batman cape and cowl that she made herself. Batman was my favorite. Though the ears on the cowl were a little droopy and the cowl didn’t fit quite right, putting it on completely immersed me into the character. But the cape was mesmerizing. I must have spent hours running around my back yard, jumping off high tree limbs, and riding my bike all the while trying to look behind me to catch a glimpse of my cape fluttering in the wind I was making with my speed. Who was Luke Campbell?
I look back now and realize that I wasn’t too different from any other boy growing up. We all wanted to be someone greater than ourselves. Young boys have an affinity for greatness, to achieve greatness, and to become great. That’s why no one wanted to be the sidekick, because we already were the sidekick. And little boys aren’t satisfied with just who they are, they have a need to be the best.
If you want a true hero. You need to look no further than your nearest little boy.
Who was Luke Campbell? He was Batman.
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