When he was three, Stephen insisted he was Superman. Furthermore, we were all in on the game and he assigned superhero names to everyone. For weeks, he insisted we call each other by these names and we call him only "Superman." Even when our super-names began to fade, Stephen still insisted on Superman. And so it happened that everyone around us called him Superman--friends and neighbors, cousins and godfathers. He became Superman. Over time, as the game faded and was replaced by other games of make believe, the name lingered in its shortened form: Super.
Now, on a soccer field on Saturday morning or a basketball court on Saturday afternoon, you can hear other children shouting, "Pass it here, Super!" In the parish hall on Sundays, someone is sure to ask "Chocolate or sprinkles on your donut, Super?" And it's not just the kids; the grownups do it, too. I met in lady in the bleachers last week who didn't even know what my son's name really is.
Today, he turns eight! Happy Birthday, Stephen. We think you're super!