Lately, my daughter, the legendary Widget, has decided that she really wants to be a mermaid if and when she grows up.  It’s actually kind of adorable, as she’s saving her money up to buy a mermaid tail for swimming and has started wearing an adorable mermaid pendant that looks like a magical talisman.  When I was her age, I remember pretending to be my favorite members of G.I. Joe or occasionally The Mad Scientist’s Club, so I can relate.  (Also, I spent an entire work-day recently thinking how cool it would be to be a giant robot, but that’s not important right now.)  Pretending to be a Crystal Gem or Ace Hunter of ‘Megaforce’ is an important part of getting through life unscathed, in my opinion, which leads us to today’ genii-ous query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always liked the idea of being Storm, but that might have a lot to do with growing up on the American plains, where storms are a powerful chunk of the mythology, asking: What strange and wondrous abilities did you wish you had when you were a kid?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. I recall wanting to be able to fly for the longest time…until I found out that I was afraid of heights. A few years later, after I started getting into X-Men, I really wished that I could phase through solid objects like Shadowcat, or teleport (albeit without the smoke and smell that accompanies Nightcrawler).

    Nowadays, though…I still wish I could do those things, because it’d be incredibly convenient.

  2. Spending a lot of my youth in hospitals, I wanted some sort of healing powers so I could help my friends. It wasn’t until I was older that I ever considered healing powers to heal myself, I just wanted them to help friends and other kids in the hospital.

    But more than anything, I’ve always wants some form of transformation power. It has ranged from “being a Transformer” to “being a werewolf” to “being a TMNT mutant” to “being a Power Ranger” and so on, but it has been a consistent wish since as far back as I can remember.

    And I’ve also wanted to be a vampire since I was about 4 or 5 years old. In my mind, vampires weren’t inherently good or evil, it just seemed a lot of vampires happened to be evil people. But I always viewed it less as some mystical curse and more of a physical change or even a disease, not unlike having cancer. The need for blood didn’t seem all that different in my mind than my own needs for these medications or blood transfusions, not to mention I had a couple of friends in the hospital who had that condition that they couldn’t go out in sunlight and had to have their hospital rooms without windows or bright lights. And as I lost my hearing, my other senses grew a little sharper, so that also shaped how I perceived vampire powers. It all seemed perfectly logical to my young mind, and I was more than willing to trade off being able to go out in the sun and having a blood addiction for the powers to protect people.

  3. Malone_hasco on

    I think most kids have wished time manipulation at some point, able to make boring day to go faster and fun one to last forever. I know I did

  4. I definitely wanted that time manipulation thing, but what I remember most vividly is seeing Nightcrawler in X-Men Evolution(my introduction to the character) and man, oh, man, was he the COOLEST thing ever.

  5. Karl G. Siewert on

    I wanted to be one of the Old Ones from the Dark Is Rising series of books by Susan Cooper. Still do, to be honest. Whenever I can afford to take a real overseas vacation, the first place I want to go is Cader Idris in Wales, the site of many of the major events in the books.

  6. I totally agree with Widget on this one! I practiced for hours in the pool to swim like a mermaid. I also at one point dreamed every night that I was Menolly from the Anne McCaffery Harper series. And wanted to be ANY of the kids from Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic series (which incidentally Widget might be old enough to read them now, depending on her reading level).
    Clearly, I was an imaginative child cause we can add to the list: Pipi Longstockings, She-ra, JEM and alternately Stormer from JEM and the Holograms, Eskarina Smith from Equal Rites. Well this is cathartic, apparently I want to be magic….

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