A Super Birthday Party
Richie was dressed in his new Robin costume by 11 a.m. He came outside while I was filling up water balloons.
"You'll need these in case you see a bad guy," I said.
"So if I don't have powers, I can throw waterballoons!" he said, as if he'd just discovered the great secret of heroism.
He took off his powers--the costume--since he was hot, and later wore a Batman costume to the party.
Early in the party, Batman and Robin leaped down our back stairs, saying, "Hello, citizens." (My cousins Brett and Jono were mysteriously late for the party.)
Superhero school began.
"I'm having some trouble with my publisher," Batman said. "So I had to borrow my friend Superman's guide book."
He had a book on how to be a superhero--which he later gave to Richie.
Their first lesson was how to tackle a goon. Richie's friend Max played the goon and his friend Sophia was the superhero. As she chased him around the yard, Batman coached her to "Cut the distance! Cut the distance!" She caught the goon and tackled him.
Soon the lessons got harder.
"Raise your hand if you've ever been shot at," Batman said.
A few kids absent mindedly raised their hands.
"Come on," Batman said. "Raise your hands."
Soon all the kids were raising their hands, even J.J. They practiced running serpentine in case they were shot at again.
Next Batman asked, "Now, who knows what to do if you're exposed to radiation?"
The same kids who'd been shot at raised their hands. Batman explained, for the others, what to do, in scientific detail.
"Does everyone understand what I'm saying?" he asked. They stared at him blankly. I think that means they got it.
Other lessons were digging their partners out of the snow after an avalanche--"Faster! Faster!" Batman and Robin coached--and flying.
Richie was pretty shy through all this. He left the volunteering to his friends. When I asked him how he was doing, he said, "Stand here with me." Having his two heros at his party was pretty overwhelming.
Meanwhile, my brother Josh mysteriously disappeared.
Then, while the children learned how to be invisible, Robin yelled, "Holy villain, Batman!"
Two-Face was holding Richie's granddad up with two waterguns!
"Nananabooboo," Two-Face yelled before running into the front yard.
There, the kids threw the water balloons at him, and Two Face cringed dramatically with every hit, especially when one went into his mouth and the mask filled with water. Batman almost had to save his life.
Two Face went down, and Richie just stared at all this like he couldn't believe what was happening.
"Richie, Richie," said Batman. "We need you. Cuff him. Cuff Two Face."
Richie ran over, pumping his arms, and punched him right in the stomach. Though he had been shy around the superheros, he was not afraid of the supervillain.
He helped Batman put imaginary handcuffs on Two Face.
"I have to take him into custody now," Batman said. "Good bye."
Before going to jail, Two Face insisted on having the last word.
"Richie, you saved the day," he said.
Richie stared at them with pride. As the other kids threw the remainder of the water balloons, he just stood there, smiling. He did it. He was officially a superhero. He didn't have to fly. He just had to cuff the supervillain.