… that seizures caused by high fever are common in young kids and frequently pass with no ill effects? I didn’t. So when my boss came in and said, “hey, did you hear that Tommy had a seizure?” I leaped out of my seat. Tommy is the son of a co-worker from another department, and a common sight around the office and at the holiday parties. He’s a ball of four-year-old energy, riding in on his strider bike or flying a toy car around the office, and for these reasons everyone loves him. “Don’t worry,” my boss said, reading the look of concern on my face. “Lots of kids have seizures from fevers and most of the time everything is fine. My own daughter had two! They were terrifying, but she’s fine.”
Still, I couldn’t get the notion that little Tommy was sick out of my head. He’s just so darn cute, and his mom is so awesome. After work I texted her get the details for myself, and she assured me that he was okay, that they were home from the hospital, and that the prognoses was excellent. I took matters into my own hands, and started getting out ingredients.
Forty five minutes and two dozen oatmeal chocolate chip cookies later, I was ringing her doorbell. I handed her the box, sticker affixed to the top that read “emergency cookies.” We had a short conversation about what had happened, and she admitted that Tommy was upstairs at that very moment karate-chopping his older sisters before bedtime. “He’s fine,” she said. “We have to keep him home tomorrow, and he will love eating these.”
And here’s the thing about being someone else’s superhero: you have to do it. You can’t be too busy, or too tired, or think that your gesture is too small. You just have to do it. Even if you’re far away, there’s a $1 card and a 49-cent stamp. Even if it’s late at night, we have the magic of email and text messaging. Never underestimate your own powers, because you have them if you choose to use them. And when someone needs a superhero, you can’t ignore the call.