Our daughter, Alexandra, our youngest, tried out for an international drum corps group this past weekend. It was right after Thanksgiving. It would be a hard and pressure-filled few days. The competition was intense. She’d be staying a few hours from home all weekend, with not many people she knew. They’d be sleeping in a gym, probably a cold one. There were many reasons not to go. At her age, I might not have. But she did.
Our next youngest, our son Matthew, had a decision to make three years ago. To follow many of his high school friends who were going to an in-state university’s engineering program or go to one out of state. He researched both schools carefully. Took part in tours. Didn’t decide right away. Instead weighed his decision carefully, while he visited other colleges. He knew he’d be going away on his own, somewhere he didn’t know many people. Into a field of study that isn’t for the faint of heart… or mind. At his age, I might have followed my friends. And even though he knew he’d miss them, he didn’t. He went to the out-of-state university because it “felt like home.”
Our oldest, our son, Jeremy, recently got married. She loves him like crazy. He feels the same. You can see it. They’re newlyweds. Just starting out. Bills to pay. Cats to feed. Lots of new things to think about like what they’re going to do about insurance, their careers, cars, and so on and so on. Right before they got married, though, they went through a challenging time. Through it all, Jeremy’s soon-to-be-wife stayed right at his side. Wouldn’t move if a hurricane had been coming. At their ages, that was hard. At any age, really. But they didn’t seem to flinch. If they did, I didn’t see it.
It’s funny. We often look outside our own lives for heroes. And there are many of them.
But, sometimes, in fact, most times, if you take a minute while you’re eating dinner tonight, or watching TV, or playing basketball in the driveway, and notice the people around you – especially our kids, no matter how old they are, I’m guessing you’ll find some heroes there, too.
Granted, their heroism might be on a smaller scale. But in their lives, it’s still about overcoming something difficult, oftentimes scary, for something more important. And, for them, in their minds, those leaps of faith can be just as hard as an astronaut stepping out into space for the first time.
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