Why I’m A Superhero

by D.K. McCutchen

One chilly second-Sunday in May, I complained, “Why can’t I hotflash on demand?”

And my daughter said, “you’re not a superhero, Mom.”

But I AM!

Menopausal-Mom! Forgetter of small facts, able to power small (sweaty) cities for minutes at a time!

I flipflop between the guilty miracle of air-conditioning – magical moments when the chemical burn hits and instead of flapping and swearing I punch the AIR button, HIGH, COLD, Ahhhh – or using my ice-block hands to cool nuclear reactors. My thermostat’s off. So, my theory, which is mine, is that I’m simply a metaphor for the larger system. Global change is a menopausal planet.

Think about it! The see-saw’s out of whack, the temp in the terrarium’s varying wildly. The northwest passage opened and Gary Larson’s penguins are about to meet polar bears. Floods of temperamental tears are raising sea-levels, and there’s a whole lotta lost car keys out there. Let’s not even mention the bits that’re drying up or erupting.

So what do we DO for Menopausal-Mom, kids? We help reduce stress. No room for dithering! When sweat rolls off the proverbial brow, it’s DANGER-WILL-ROBINSON! Our path is clear. Drastically reduce emissions, NOW. Shrug off that greenhouse sweater, FAST! Or Menopausal-Mom’s gonna meltdown, and the homefront’ll be even more unlivable.

After all Mother Earth’s done for us, least we can do is be good kids – not bicker about who gets what. We’re all responsible. In fact, Menopausal-Mom needs YOU to be the superhero, ‘cause she’s busy trying to remember where she put that … thing….

So – yeah – imperfect metaphor here! Earth’s a superhero, you’re a superhero, Mom’s a Menopausal Superhero who’s gonna do … something … soon as she remembers what!

And yup! Global Change – Just like Menopause! Let’s hope we can sweat the changes or we’re … kinda done here.

Happy Mother’s Day!

(P.S. Send chocolate.)

""D. K. McCutchen is Senior Lecturer in The UMass College of Natural Sciences, and supports other writing teachers via the UMass Writing Program. She may be the longest-running member of the University Writing Committee. Lack of poetic-DNA led to a tale of low adventure & high science titled THE WHALE ROAD. In a literary attempt to save the world, she’s now writing gender-bender-post-apocalyptic-speculative fiction. She lives on a river with two brilliant daughters and a Kiwi, who isn’t green, but is fuzzy.

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