Cowboys and Other Superheroes

Today, I thought I would share another old story from when Younger was three years old…

In Elder’s elementary school, they have devised a program to encourage reading. In kindergarten, it starts with parents reading ten books to the child to reach the first level then reading twenty books to reach the second level. Starting with the third level, the child must read to the teacher. And all the levels are somehow related to the rodeo, such as Cowboy, Mutton Buster, and Bull Rider.

When Elder reached the last level, after reading five books to his teacher, he received a cowboy hat and a red bandana. For him, they have been relegated to a deep corner in his toy box. But not for Younger. He has repeatedly insisted that I tie the handkerchief around his neck.

The first time I was somewhat confused as to where he might have seen a cowboy with a bandana as we do not watch westerns and we do not engage in any obvious western behavior involving horses, cows, or chewing tobacco. But I folded the handkerchief into a triangle and knotted it around his neck anyway. Then I returned to my chores, ignoring him when he mumbled some sort of protest. And I refused to repeat the procedure when he jerked it from his neck in frustration.

A week or so passed and he again brought the bandana to me. So again I folded the handkerchief into a triangle and knotted it around his neck. Then I smiled at my little cowboy in his purple, footed pajamas and red bandana.

But he did not smile back. Instead, he glanced over his shoulder at the small, pointed cloth. “Well, I’m not gonna fly very high with this thing,” he muttered. But with his sword in hand, he hurried to attack the various shadows dirtying the kitchen floor.

Ahhhh. Not a cowboy then. A superhero. Which means his pajamas are actually the correct attire.


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