Power Rangers — my son can tell you everything about them. He will dissect personality strengths and weaknesses, episodic character arcs with thoughtfulness rarely displayed in five year old boys. But ask him about the Pink Ranger and he will blush, and smile, and then maybe if your timing is right he’ll show you his Pink Ranger toy(s).
I thought his crush was cute, a passing interest to be replaced quickly, until it became this real, big thing, and earlier in the summer I knew he had fallen. Hard. It was the end of one of our epic days (when likely all I could think about was getting him to bed so I could go have an appropriately massive glass of wine and lose myself in an episode of House Hunters International). He looked up at me with his giant crystal-blue eyes and said: “I want the Pink Ranger to be my girlfriend, Mommy.”
“What does that mean?”
(Ohmygosh you’re killing me with cuteness don’t grow up this fast howwhyhow???)
“That I take her on a date, and show her all my toys and give her a kiss on the cheek.”
(Biting down on a gasp of sadness as my heart breaks and I realize I am no longer the center of his universe and really that has been happening for a long time who am I kidding?)
“That sounds great, I’m sure she would love it.”
He peers up at me, his expression drawn. “I want to meet her, Mommy.”
That night he prayed to meet the Pink Ranger, and every night after he prayed to meet the Pink Ranger, and I thought Shit is this like a Santa thing? Because I can’t exactly order up the actress who plays the Pink Ranger on Amazon and have her overnighted. And so every night I tried to let him down gently that the likelihood of meeting her was slim, negligible, (and San Diego Comic Con had passed, much to my sadness, and I wasn’t seeing anything else come up when I googled ) and he shouldn’t get his heart set.
And somewhere in there I followed the Yellow Ranger on Twitter.
And I spend a lot of time on Twitter. I mean, if I’m not saying it with a hashtag then it just may not even be really happening.
A couple weeks ago the Yellow Ranger (played fantastically by actress Ciara Hanna) Tweeted about the VIP lunch at Nick Suites Hotel in Orlando, FL and for a moment I didn’t even know if I wanted to click on the link. Because even if it was what it sounded like, it was crazy to imagine we could take him on short notice to Florida in the middle of the school year. That sort of thing, it just wasn’t realistic.
Realistic — I am at constant odds with my realistic side. The same side that organizes my days by half hour increments, looks for reasons to not believe an agent will love the book I wrote and offer representation, and downplays exciting moments because my own joy may boil over and burn me in the ass.
Realistic can’t let go of fear because fear is a blanket to hide under. It tells you not to hope, and when you hope, not to hold onto it. Realistic is well-skilled at reasoning away childlike faith.
I am no longer a child, and sometimes that can make Realistic’s voice louder (screeching, unrelenting). But I am a fangirl, a writer of fantasy for young adults, a girl crafting a screenplay about Comic Con and fandoms, and so maybe that makes me more willing to recognize magic at work in the world.
Realistic blinks away tears, but Dreamer ugly cries into a box of chocolates and snots all over Realistic’s buttoned up sweater. She’s more dramatic, and sometimes she wins out.
So I clicked the link. I said yes to a chance at unrealistic. Then I had to let myself believe that Sam’s well of prayers had finally overflowed, and within that well were the resources to get him to Florida.
His answered prayed quickly became mine.
Sitting in Studio Nick, watching Sam wait — quiet and thoughtful, the Sam Way — it hit me that his dream was coming true. That in a few minutes he would meet the Pink Ranger, and that meant prayers were really heard, and wow I didn’t realize just how badly I needed that affirmed right now. And my heart did a spasm and my eyes brimmed with water, and I let them just do it and didn’t try to pretend they weren’t.
And when Realistic jumped in with a sledgehammer to batter my new hope, I kindly redirected her toward all the fear mongering on the internet and all the trolling on Goodreads and to everyone making someone feel small and their dreams feel meaningless, and she didn’t really like keeping that company so she retired to the bar.
Instead, I met the Rangers with him, and the little girl who watched Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when she was eight years old — she was excited too. She got her poster signed and took a picture with the Yellow Ranger, and chatted like her stomach wasn’t doing somersaults, and when the Pink Ranger asked Sam to be her boyfriend that Fangirl was a Mom loving, and a Girl longing, and a Woman living, and she believed.
And Sam? He beamed. He bloomed. He got slimed. My little boy who doesn’t like heights and can’t stand water in his eyes, stood under the slime bucket with a giant smile on his face, a testament to the power of a single dream come true.