Make-a-Wish, BatKid, and Restoring my Faith in Humanity

Helping make BatKid’s wish come true was one of the most inspirational experiences of my life.

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I have a bucket list. It includes things like “Attend all four tennis Majors in one year” and “kiss an alligator.” It was only in the recent days I realized I’d had something incredibly important on my list but never wrote it out: participate in Make-a-Wish. Over the last two days, I was fortunate enough to be involved with Miles’ Make-a-Wish to be become “BatKid.”

I first heard about BatKid a few weeks ago when our Executive Director told us that Miles would be coming to Circus Center on Thursday to work on some of his “superpowers.” His advocate was “EJ,” a longtime member of the Circus Center community, and he was bringing Miles in to “train” with Xiaohong and Jennings by doing some fun, jump around exercises. We loved the idea that Circus Center is a place where superheroes come to train, because… well, that’s exactly what it is, giving people super powers. Day after day Miles’ wish gained more coverage on the internet, and soon enough people from all over the planet were talking about San Francisco being transformed into Gotham City.

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To build on our theme, I reached out to Costumes on Haight (great shop, seriously, look them up for costumes!) and they were gracious enough to donate the use of a handful of superhero costumes to Circus Center while Miles was training with us. While he was in the building, he would be rubbing shoulders with superheroes during their “everyday routines.” Nothing special, just another day at Circus Center.

Miles had a total blast jumping around on the athletic equipment and lead through the obstacle course by EJ, Xiaohong and Jennings. He bounced off the mini-trampoline, crawled through the tunnel, tip-toed his way down the tightwires, and rolled to a stop in the giant donut. He even did some foot-to-hand with Jennings!

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But it wasn’t over yet! Miles and the other Superheroes came into the Main Gym where Wonderwoman demonstrated some aerial mastery on the Flying Trapeze. Then it was Miles’ turn. After a quick demonstration from Xiaohong, BatKid made us way up the ladder to the Flying Trapeze platform, ready for takeoff.

That’s right, BatKid got to fly.

Miles swung back and forth over the trapeze net, over twenty in the air. I’ve seen grown adults scared of the flying trapeze. Miles pulled it off with a smile. When Jennings yelled “hep!” Miles let go and dropped into the net below. He was met by Wonderwoman who helped him to his feet and he raised his arms in triumph.

He was now ready to fight crime on the streets of Gotham.

* * * * *

tumblr_mwhsd9RtTJ1rt7qgbo1_500On Friday, I went from location to location, making Miles’ wish come true. I was at Hyde and Green when he rescued the “damsel in distress.” I was in Union Square during the flashmob and I was at Civic Center when he was honored with the “Key to the City.” I was touched by the way the community came out to support this little boy. In times when everything can seem so bleak, it was refreshing to be surrounded by so many happy people.

In our own ways, we had contributed to something bigger than any of us, yet small enough to fill a five year old boy with hope and happiness.

Thank you Miles, for reinforcing my faith in humanity. There are still good people in this world.

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