Why Open Another Box?

A unconditional conversation between mother and daughter...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Laura Schiller was my supermom, even when her body
wouldn't let her be. In the spirit of Halloween, may you all
find the phonebooth that transforms you, into your most super you.

Clark Kent is a wimp
and so am I.
He is clumsy and awkward
and basically a nerd.
We have those characteristics
in common as well.
Yet, when Clark Kent
goes into a phonebooth
and tears off his everyday clothes,
he becomes Superman,
who is quite the opposite
of Clark Kent.
All of a sudden,
he is faster than a speeding bullet,
more powerful than a locomotive,
and able to leap over tall buildings
in a single bound!

In addition,
he can bend steel with his bare hands,
has x-ray vision,
and is damn good-looking!
His transformation from
Wimpy to Wonderful
takes just a matter of seconds.
Such a dramatic and rapid change
would seem to be possible
only in comic book pages
or in movies having large budgets
for special effects.
But I am living proof
that such transformations are possible
without cartoons or cash.

When I need to be strong
or powerful or pretty,
I simply enter my phonebooth,
which is in the form
of an easy chair and a computer.
Someone puts a switch in my hand
and in an instant,
I change from mild-mannered wimp
to Superwife, Supermom, Supreme!

There is nothing I can’t do
with the power of my imagination
and the marvelous machine
on the table in front of me.
I can climb
the treacherous and icy slopes
of Mount Everest.
I can explore the depths of the sea
to observe the behavior of the whales
I admire so much.

But more important to me,
I am able to enjoy the complex conversations
with my husband
and can join with him
to guide and discipline
our growing children.
I can physically hold and comfort
my daughter and son
or tell them stories
or play with them.
I can have another child
as I probably would have had
if I hadn’t gotten ill.

Skeptics will tell me
all these things aren’t real,
that they’re all in my mind.
They certainly are in my mind
but also on this paper
in black and white!
What’s more,
you just have to look at me
while I’m sitting in my phonebooth
to see how
my writing transforms me
from Wimpy to Wonderful
in a matter of seconds!

I sit taller,
have roses in my cheeks,
and a gleam of inspiration
in my eyes.
Since such a small movement
is required to activate the switch,
I feel no weakness in my limbs
as I create a different world
on my computer’s screen.
My phonebooth gives me confidence
in my ability to be
an important and worthwhile person,
which I rarely feel
when I’m away from it.

For as long as I am there,
I’m as strong and invincible
as Superman!

In case you were wondering,
I have something else in common
with Superman.
I, too, haven’t found a way
to handle the Kryptonite.

By, Laura Schiller
March 1988

1 comment: