Lil Blue and I were having an intense discussion recently (translation: I was arguing with an 11 year old). He insisted he is going to be a super hero when he gets older. I figured he’s 11, so it’s time to talk about the difference between real heros and fictional ones.
After he realized that I wasn’t just being a mean mommy who wants to crush his dreams, he asked me who my heros are. After thinking for a minute, I decided he’s old enough for me to give him specific answers rather than the usual “firefighters-doctors-teachers” answer I usually give.
I told him my first hero is my mother. Of course, Lil Blue thought it was because she took care of me and all that. But I told him no, that’s not why. It’s because she never gives up. Despite all the hardships life has thrown at her, she found the courage to pursue happiness. I’ve seen her unhappy, but i’ve never seen her wallow in self pity. “You pick yourself up and keep going,” that’s how she raised us, and she leads by example. That’s why my mom is my hero.
Next on the list are Sister and Brother Blue, because they know, as I do, how to survive in this sometimes craptastic life. The secret for us is laughter. They’re able to find humor in the littlest things. Sometimes people find it inappropriate, but it really isn’t. It’s a coping mechanism. And they are able to make others see the funny side of things. That’s a valuable asset for a friend to have.
Last, but never least, is Mr. Blue Collar. Lil Blue looked at me like I had 4 heads when I told him that. I explained that his father wakes up every morning and goes to a job he hates just to provide us with food and shelter. And even though he hates the place he works, he does an excellent job. He doesn’t let his current career situation stop him from pursuing other opportunities that will make life better for all of us. He doesn’t let his past or the fact that his childhood was crappy stand in the way of him being a good partner and father. Instead of using it as an excuse, he uses it as an example of who he doesn’t want to be. He stands up for what’s right no matter what, even if it means defending a person he can’t stand. And, despite his gruff exterior and having had to live through a very tough childhood, he is one of the kindest people I have ever known.
I told Lil Blue that the people I admire most are the ones who are able to make the best of shitty situations. The ones who stand up for what’s right for everyone, not just themselves. That, to me, is heroic.
I hope you all have a great new year. I won’t say I wish you no struggles, because it’s unrealistic. I will say I wish your struggles to be small enough for you to bear. And I promise you that, though it might only be in spirit, I will always try to bear some of your burdens with you.