As a child, my mother and I would go to the local park every Sunday morning, our weekly tradition since moving to America from Vietnam. I remember the car ride there, the sun beaming warmth on my skin through the glass, while a man within the radio sang in a tongue neither she nor I quite understood, but nevertheless we swayed.
Upon arrival at the park, my mother let me roam free while she sat on a green bench adjacent to the playground. My favorite thing was those plastic rocking horses. I would hop on, saddle up, and with both eyes closed picture myself galloping through the western plains. Only to be pinched back to reality by a mosquito which had bitten my thigh. It hurt. Looking down, I noticed I had been stationary the entire time. A child’s imagination can be a wondrous thing.
I glanced over at my mother and saw that she was still there. She would watch the ducks swim laps and try to make occasional conversation with elders that walked by. This made me very proud, seeing her practice this new language in an even newer place. About two feet from the bench she sat on was a sign. It read Parental Supervision at All Times. Parental Supervision. Parental Supervision. Parental Super Vision! I replayed these words in my head. Imagining if my mother was part of the X-Men and possessed super human abilities.
Super Vision! What a marvelous thing she could have! As if she could shoot laser beams from her eyes or see through walls and solid objects! I must admit, this was almost always the case. My mother did not have a cape, nor did she have the letter S across her chest, however, she always saw right through the walls I often placed up around myself. Knowing what I was thinking without me having to vocalize anything.
I was again snapped back to reality, this time by my mother’s calling voice."It's twelve o'clock, time to go home."
"Okay, Mom, be right there!" After brushing off grass and sand from my shoes, I began towards the green bench.
"Ready to go?" she asked.
"Sure am. Mom, can I tell you something?"
"Of course, anything."
"Did you know you’re my favorite superhero?"
She smiled and nodded gently back.
Nam Hoang Tran holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. His work has appeared in Funny-ish, Mouthful Montana, Bending Genres, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Orlando, though plans on traveling once the pandemic subsides. www.namhtran.com
See more of his work in 9.1