The Superman Leap

The Superman Leap, a pivotal moment in the life of most small children, is that poignant moment when a small child realises there are some things they will never attain; the moment when they realise their vision may exceed their abilities and that things they thought they could do prove sadly unachievable.

In literal terms the child launches itself off some domestic ledge or precipice in the unconscious belief that a) they are invincible b) they will fly.  Coming painfully back to earth, both literally and symbolically, the resultant injuries serve as a stark reminder that some things just cannot be. It is a moment that sees the world of the child shrink – slightly but profoundly and irrevocably – as the fantastical makes way for the actual. A fundamental and hugely disappointing readjustment to reality must be made, one which is no less shocking for its inevitability. The child must come to terms with what is, and not what it can imagine being so. It must negotiate this human frailty for the rest of its life.

A child rarely makes a true Superman Leap twice.

I recently had the privilege of witnessing a Superman Leap in all its glory – off the edge of a green sofa – and felt it necessary to document the moment in the interests of future scientific research into child development and infantile neurology, to which areas I trust my discovery will be of some value. I attach a diagram below.

Superman Leap




1 thought on “The Superman Leap”

  1. “A child rarely makes a true Superman Leap twice.” No, but adults often repeat the exercise round about age 40. I guess they are looking for their second childhood.

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