Oh, to be superhuman

A few things caught my attention this week. First, it was news of a local sixth-grade team winning a recent robotics contest. Then I stumbled on a collection of award-winning science fiction. Then someone tried to comfort me by telling me, “We’re only human.”           
Don’t I know it, sister. I become more aware of that sad fact every day and, frankly, I’d really like to get a quote on becoming something else. Maybe I have been watching too many superhero movies, but these adorable youngsters, putting together working robots at the age of 11, gave me faith we might have some options. It helps to couple this with my stunning ability to suspend my grip on reality. We’ve got Ironman, Spiderman and, of course, all the delightful X-people, for starters. I’d love to have a go at being a shape-shifter or perhaps have some super-hearing. But if I can’t have my own super powers, then I at least want my own R2-D2 complete with a force field.
I suppose it has ever been thus. Back in the day, perhaps one hoped to snag the attention of a mythological god and be granted a little superhuman ability of one sort or another. Now, we look to the stars instead of Mount Olympus and I like to contemplate being Vulcan, or I could go for being half Betazoid, which means curvaceous and telepathic. I’m a big fan, as well, of the incredibly serene and wise Taelon, Da’an, from “Earth: Final Conflict.”
Meanwhile, I continue to chafe at the concept of being “only human.” It’s really far too vulnerable and unpredictable, racking up two bad decisions for every good one. And the emotional roller coaster is wearing me slap out (hence my taste for Vulcans).
Maybe I’m spoiled, since women get a short but sublime taste of being truly extraordinary when we gestate, creating a completely new creature within our bodies. Both growing and expelling that new human is nothing less than superhuman, but the minute that cord is cut, we lose all our status and a few brain cells to boot. If you were to believe your children, actual parenthood renders you right down there with Jar-Jar Binks or perhaps a Ferengi.
That’s why I am putting it squarely on the shoulders of the growing number of bright, beautiful youngsters building those cool robots. Either get busy and build me a purse-sized personal assistant that can talk, drive and balance my checkbook while I nap, or figure out how to give me some seriously Bionic Woman stuff. I want to run faster, jump higher, stop on a dime and give you nine cents change.
But I’ll settle for someone to remember my grocery list.


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