On January 6, before I had any idea what I was doing or what this project would become or where it would take me and my family, I played catch with Thor. Friends who are also superheroes are in short supply. He met me near the Miracle League Field where we braved the cold together making the best throws possible in spite of the multiple layers of bulky clothing.
I hope I do not get in trouble for outing Thor’s mild-mannered alter-ego.
Like Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible, Chris works in the world of insurance, but his true gift is bringing smiles to people of all ages. He’s helped me give away copies of Superheroes are for Real at Chick-fil-A and posed for countless selfies at Ozarks Literacy Council’s Pizza Bowl. His wife was Sophie’s 5th grade teacher, which is another way of saying that he, too, is married to a superhero. He is quite active in encouraging young people throughout the Ozarks simply by being a visible presence at concerts, games, and birthday parties.
“Next to Thor, my favorite is superhero is Colossus — I would love to be Colossus. He’s completely made out of metal and that is so hard to do! He’s bigger and stronger than everyone, but he’s a defender at heart. In the Marvel Universe, there was a mutant-killing virus and the cure required someone to give his life. He didn’t hesitate to sacrifice for others. That’s what I love about Colossus.”
As soon as he said this, I knew that Chris would make an excellent Colossus, just like he would make an excellent, although over-sized, Reepicheep.
Chris’s wife is also out of town this week, so Kaylea and I invited him over for dinner, catch, and games. He loves board games of all stripes and has introduced us to several of our now favorite games. In the past, we have Ultimate Werewolf-ed, Guillotine-d, Lords of Waterdeep-ed, and Dominion-ed.
After dinner of my favorite dish, we stepped out in the backyard and survived the humidity through laughter and four-seam fastballs.
Chris’s / Thor’s advice to kids of all ages resonates deep in my heart, “Never stop dreaming.”
Of course, there was thunder overhead and lightning in the area before and after our game of catch. This is Thor we’re talking about, after all.