As you quake with reaction to today’s distressing events, you must remember something – Your children are superheroes.
Sure, that sounds like a bold statement, especially when the little stinkers can be selfish, inconsiderate, and down-right mean to one another. Still, when important, their inner hero lights shine.
Heroism to me means exemplary care in big or small ways. A hero can be the firefighter putting the life of another before personal well-being or a soldier in harm’s way, but a hero can also be the child who speaks up about bullying. A hero can be the dog who alerts the family of danger.
When one of the children experiences need, the others put aside personal grievances and help, thereby helping the entire family.
Today, for example, you negotiated the perils of crossing an ice-glazed parking area and entered the warmth of home. “Go take off your outer wear,” you asked Sarah and Matthew as you hung your own coat and turned to prepare dinner. They made the short journey to their rooms.
Matthew returned to ask to play with the Xbox.
He started the game, but instead of playing, he called to you. “Momma, Sarah’s crying. She said she’s dizzy.”
You rushed to her. In trying to remove her scarf, she managed to tighten it around her neck and couldn’t extricate it, fighting a burst of spasticity too profound to overcome.
You remained calm and focused. You freed, hugged, and reassured her. You wrapped her neck with a soothing cloth (which she wouldn’t keep about her.) The doctor’s office’s only advice was, “Don’t let her wear scarves.” You hung up the phone with frustration, but by then, Sarah wanted to play the video game, too, and joined her brother in the living room. Her color and breathing seemed okay as they assumed the roles of Spiderman and a princess and defeated digital bad guys.
With the crisis averted, safety restored, and the other two girls home from school, the kids resumed their standard, callous language of bickering.
Your knees ache, and the fire of reaction burns in your skin, especially your cheeks. The calm felt during the crisis left. You feel sick, and dinner does little to change this suspicion. Your whole body shakes, and you struggle to disguise tears. Any composure experienced when dealing with the crisis abandons you, and you should anticipate a sleepless night or three.
Meanwhile, your littlest super hero goes about his day, unaware of the value of well-placed words.
Treasure them all.
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