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Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

For Parents: Meet them where they sit

March 26, 2009

Spider-Man to the Rescue

Spider-Man to the Rescue (AFP)

I like a nice bowl of oatmeal along with my morning paper. I also like good news whenever possible. Mostly I just get the oatmeal with a sliced banana on top. Sometimes there are strawberries.

I know that smile-inducing stuff still happens in the world, but why is it all relegated to the comics page? And even there, most of the place holders are cringe-inducing. Dennis the Menace? Blondie? Hello? 2009 here!

Maybe the lack of reporting about people behaving well requires more resources than struggling media outlets have these days. Could be. Anyway, here are some of the headliners on the breakfast menu: Funeral for slain Oakland officers. 10 civilians are killed in bombing of minibus. Sudan’s leader defies warrant. Nazi newspapers.

My sunny disposition faltering, I flipped a few pages and caught these opening lines: “The streets of Baghdad are calmer now. The fighting between Shiites and Sunnis has largely ceased.” Alright! Smiling and nodding, about to share the good news with David across the table, I read on and learn that Shiites and Sunnis aren’t killing each other in Baghdad any more because there aren’t any Sunnis in Baghdad anymore. 84% of the survivors of massacres that peaked in the first half of 2007 got the hell out of there. So much for peacful conflict resolution.

I’m ready to relegate the paper to the worm bin, when I spot this headline: Spider-Man to the Rescue. Could it be? It could. An 11 year old with autism, so freaked at his Bangkok school the other day, crawls out a third story window to give himself some Me-Time. Seems nobody, including Teacher and Mom, can coax him away from the ledge until a firefighter named Somchai Yoosabai is called in. Apparently, the child loves super-heroes and for some undisclosed reason Mr. Yoosabai (if that is his real name) happens to keep a Spider-Man costume in his locker down at the firehouse. Spidey shows up on the window ledge. The boy, teary-eyed, spots him and walks into his arms.

My hero. More oatmeal please.

You probably don’t need a Spider-Man suit to coax your kid off the ledge. Maybe all you need is a willingness to go out there and sit with him.

Filed under: Parenting — Tags: , , — Annie @ 12:36 pm


  1. Great story! Thanks Annie!

    Comment by Sarah — March 26, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  2. What a wonderful story. I love your opening paragraph, by the way. Oatmeal is certainly much easier to get your hands on than good news. Great writing.

    Comment by Fayette — March 27, 2009 @ 3:33 pm

  3. Yay! Spider-man!

    Comment by Ezra — March 28, 2009 @ 9:47 am

  4. Lovely piece on imaginative, quick-thinking compassion. Gerri George.

    Comment by Gerri George — September 13, 2010 @ 9:13 pm

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