As most every night I sit on my bed to catch up with some work, work I did not get around to doing because I spend a couple of hours on the road driving kids to their activities. This is not me venting. I love hanging out with my kids in the middle of the day. Asking them about their school day, reviewing who they played with and plans for the days ahead. If we are not talking we are listening to music, singing and laughing. Mostly talking or laughing. Those couple of hours are therapeutic. But, those hours come at the cost of a couple of hours sometimes at night or on the weekends. C’est la vie. So there I was, sitting and working. My bedroom door is always open so I can listen to what goes on out there. And often, what is out there spills into the room as it did that night.
I heard the little pitter patter of rapid movement. Feet chasing, nervous laughs, the occasional “no!!! that is mine!” And then, the chaos burst into my room. Three boys ran in, one sang “When the bad guys are on the run, na na nana, nanana. tu tu tutu, tu, tututu”. “Mom, look! I am …. the Black Scorpion! He is a character I made up” explained Javier, proud and excited as can be.There he stood with his black batman mask upside down. It looked so different turned upside down! He was dressed with the black cape and a black t-shirt and pajama bottoms. Theme song and all! I asked “but is he a good guy or a bad guy?” Black scorpion sounded dangerous and deadly. “He is a superhero, of course!” he was puzzled at my doubt.
I love Javier’s brain. It is a place of wonder where most anything can be pulled apart and remade into something different and new. His passion and vision are just a joy to behold.
Black Scorpion came to life about a year a ago, when Javier was 7 years old. A few months after that night it hit him: “Mom, for Halloween I want you to make me a Black Scorpion costume!” Since then, he has spent many a lunch hour making up stories with his friends Olav and Milo. Inspired by Javier, they now each have their own superheroes. I hear all about it one afternoon hanging it out with Javier. He went on, and on, about their super powers and the back story as to how these superheroes met. Older brother, Jaimito, was also enchanted by the Black Scorpion and started working on the guitar version of the theme song.
So it’s Halloween 2013 and it was Black Scorpion costume making time. I tried to follow Javier’s directions: “all black, silver circle in the chest, kind of like an oval, silver belt, silver knee pads, a blue outline to the circle, and in the middle a red scorpion tail.” “Red?” I asked, expecting him to realize his color mistake. But it was red for a about 20 minutes, long enough for me to paint it, for him to like it and then say… “no, you’re right, it has to be black.” So we compromised and I left a hint of the red – I told him many dangerous and poisonous things have bright colored highlights.
Below, I include the story Javier and I were creating together. It was the origin story for Black Scorpion. Happy Halloween!