There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of movies about all sorts of super heroes with all sorts of superpowers. However, not one of them has been about a real-life superhero and her superpowers — a mom.
I suppose my mother possessed talents similar to many moms. For example, while she did not have the X-ray vision of Superman, she did have eyes in the back of her head.
No, my brothers Phil and Dave and I did not believe she had to wear two pairs of bifocals at the same time, but it surely did appear as though she could see what we were up to even when it didn’t seem as though she was looking at us.
We were pretty sneaky, but we could rarely outsmart Mother. We would tiptoe in on our tiny toes and try to sneak a few cookies from the breadbox, but no matter how quiet we were, as soon as we got within 10 feet of the cookies, we would hear, “You’ll spoil your supper.”
When supper did arrive, Mother would be taking care of the food on the stove with her back to the kitchen table and still tell us, “Nobody eats anything until we say ‘Grace,’ so put that bread back on the plate.
Mother also had a supernatural power of hearing. She could hear the Mister Softee song, “A Whistler and His Dog,” when the truck was six blocks away.
Even Ernie “Ears” Ebskulovitz, the kid with the best hearing on the block, could only hear the first notes when the truck was two blocks away.
However, it wasn’t that she used that extra time to get her change purse to give us money to buy ice cream cones. It enabled her to forewarn us that she was not going to buy us ice cream when we had a half gallon of the stuff in the freezer.
The super hearing was also evident at bedtime when we kids reluctantly agreed to go to our room after our best whining and begging failed to win us any extra TV watching.
We were allowed about 10 minutes to brush our teeth, settle down and get a few last-minute dives from the top bunk onto Dave’s single bed — and sometimes onto Dave.
However, after that time, we could not even whisper without the thought Mother would hear us. If one of us did softly say something, we could expect to hear her call up, “I thought I told you three to go to sleep.”
If we foolishly tested her powers of hearing again, she would tell Dad and he would yell up, “If I come up there, there’ll be hell-up.” To this day, none of us knows what hell-up was, because our curiosity was never greater than our fear.
She also had the power to read minds. If she had to go to the corner store, she would come home to find Phil, Dave and me innocently lying on the floor and watching TV. Before the storm door closed, she would say, “All right. Who did it?”
OK, you don’t have to have to be a psychic to know that the three of us must have done something wrong. The mindreading part was that she almost always was able to figure out who the guilty party or parties were.
We usually had the same three answers, although we would take turns which one of us said what: “Not me,” “I don’t know” or “It wasn’t me.”
Even if the guilty one wasn’t trying to sweep up the pieces of whatever he broke, Mother could almost always figure out who was guilty.
On those rare occasions when she couldn’t, she would just punish all three of us saying, “You probably got away with something else.”
That was another of Mother’s superpowers — the power of common sense.