Bad Guys Are Just Superheroes With Broken Hearts (A Conversation with Molly)

Because one tutu just wasn't enough to watch Power Rangers.

Because one tutu just wasn’t enough to watch Power Rangers.


Me: (cracking the door to her bedroom) Good morning, Ms. MaGoo. Are you awake?

Molly: Yah.

Me: May I turn on the light?

Molly: No, my eyes not ready.

Me: Okay, may I come in?

Molly: Yah.

Me: Good morning (sitting on the floor beside her bed).

Molly: Good morning, mama.

Me: How was your sleeping?

Molly: Good.

Me: How was your dreaming?

Molly: Good.

Me: What did you dream about?

Molly: I dream about fire. Fire in the garage and, um, bombeiros (firefighters) came and put fire out with water.

Me: That’s what bombeiros (firefighters) do. Bombeiros (firefighters) are heroes. They are real life superheroes just like your Tio (Uncle) Daniel. He is a bombeiro (firefighter) and he is a hero; he and his colleagues save people.

Molly: And cats.

Me: And guinea pigs.

Molly: Guinny pigs?

Me: The fire station where your Tio (Uncle) works in Setúbal is a guinea pig sanctuary.

Molly: Really?

Me:Yes, when a guinea pig needs a home they go and live at the fire station.

Molly: The bombeiros (firefighters) are superheroes! They save guinea pigs!!!! (nodding)

Me: Yes.

Molly: I love superheroes.

Me: I know.

Molly: I like bad guys, too.

Me: You know, a bad guy is just a superhero with a broken heart.

Molly: Awe. Bad guys with broken hearts superheroes?

Me: True story.

Molly: Like Joker and Batman.

Me: Exactly like Joker and Batman.

Molly: (processing)




Molly: Mama, I a Power Ranger.

Me: And I am proud!

Molly: I then porpull Power Ranger, NO, I the greeeeeeen Power Ranger.

Me: Impressive, do you want me to sign you up for Karate? That is how you learn to be a Power Ranger.

Molly: No, uma bruxia (a witch) make Power Ranger!

Me: Ah, but that is only for television Power Rangers. Real life Power Rangers have to train and practice to become Power Rangers and that practice is called martial arts. Just like bombeiros (firefighters) have to train to be superheroes so do Power Rangers… Unless you’re on TV.

Molly: I no on TV.

Me: Nope.

Molly: I no need a bruxia (witch).

Me: Nope, you have all the power you need to be a superhero.

Molly: (getting out of bed) But I no bad guy, mama. My heart not broken.

Me: (smiling, watching her toddle off toward her day)



A Lesson on Feminism at Sephora

This is what €119.48 looks like

This is what €119.48 looks like


(standing in line at Sephora)

Me: Thanks for suffering through this shopping trip with me, Hank.

Hank: Really, it’s fine, mom. I thought it was interesting and you were smart to come here first to try on all the shades of base (foundation). It was really hard to find your shade in Portugal.

Me: #palegirlproblems

Hank: That is a good hashtag, mom.

Me: Thanks, I’ve been practicing.

Hank: Plus, you had to get a lot of stuff.

Me: I really waited until the last possible minute to replenish my makeup and I have been budgeting for this trip. Normally, I wouldn’t have waited this long and added items slowly. Just wait for it; this is going to be a big bill.

Sephora Makeup Expert: €119.48

Hank: WHAT?

Me: (shaking my fist in the air and handing over my debit card) AND THIS IS ANOTHER REASON FEMINISM IS SO IMPERATIVE! Sure, I don’t have to wear makeup and as you know I only do so when I am in a professional setting, but it has been proven that women are taken more seriously and advanced above their female peers when they “best” present themselves and by “best” they mean with your hair done and a full face of make-up AND THESE THINGS COST MONEY yet there is a huge gender pay gap that we have to endure on top of these out of pocket costs.

Hank: That isn’t fair.

Me: True Story.

Gathering of Sephora Makeup Experts: (slow clapping, nodding in solidarity behind the counter)

Hank: (blushes realizing that our conversation was being overheard)

Me: Remember this conversation when you are of voting age and when you are in the workforce, Hank. You can advocate for merit based inclusive pay for all of your peers regardless of gender and always be aware that the out of pocket expense for women is always higher than men: hair, makeup and don’t even get me started on feminine hygiene products and bras! Am I right, ladies?

Gathering of Sephora Makeup Experts: (collectively nodding and each answering in Portuguese even though Hank and I had this conversation in English because feminism is a universal language) Pois. Claro. Força! Pois e. (Of course. Go ahead! Because it is.)

Me: Obrigado por a sua ajuda e até a próxima. (Thank you for your help and see you next time.)

Gathering of Sephora Makeup Experts: Obrigada nos! (We thank you!) Até a próxima! (see you next time) Tchau, Joy! (Goodbye, Joy) Tchau, Henrique. (Goodbye, Hank)

Hank: (waving goodbye) I want to change this. It isn’t fair.

Me: Me, too! Let’s work on changing it together.

Hank: (taking my Sephora bag form me and holding my hand even though he’s ten) And I like your makeup, mommy. You look beautiful everyday, but the makeup you chose just helps you shine.

Me: Awe thanks, buddy. Thank you for understanding and for complimenting me exactly the way I needed. It shows you’re listening.

Hank: Oh, I am.



Wishing You All A Very Merry Unbirthday

This is what 38 looks like.

This is what 38 looks like.


Pai: Is everything on the table that needs to be on the table?

Me: I’m happy.

Hank: Amália needs a water glass.

Pai: Okay, anything else?

Hank: No.

Me: Nope.

Pai: (returning with said water glass) Great, now we can start the birthday!

Me: Hurray!

Hank: Happy birthday, mom.

Me: Thanks, buddy.

Molly: It your birthday?

Me: Yes, today is my birthday, Ms. Molly MaGoo.

Molly: (pouting) Awe, I want it my birthday, too! Share?

Me: You would like me to share my birthday with you?

Molly: (perks up) YAH!

Me: Well, I’d be honored. Happy Unbirthday, Amália!

Pai: Happy Un-Birthday, filha (daughter)!

Hank: (whispers in my ear) But mom, do you think it is a good idea to make her think it is also her birthday, I mean, this is your day.

Me: Trust me, it’s perfectly fine. Today is also your unbirthday.

Hank: Wait, un-birthday? (catching on) Ohhhh.

Me: (winking at him, singing) Aaaaaaaaaa very merry unbirthday to you!

Molly: To me?

Me: Yes, you! (turning to Hank) A very merry unbirthday to you!

Hank: There is a song for this?

Me: (singing) Now blow the candle out my dear and make your wish come true!

Hank: Is this a real song or are you making it up?


Pai: Haven’t we learn yet that with your mother there is always a song.