Wouldn’t you like to be their hero?

(Hum “Didn’t you know you were my hero” as you read along)

I read my 18-year-old son’s My Space page the other day. It was as disturbing as I thought it might be but not as bad as it could have been. He’s an 18-year-old ‘sowing his oats’, “you can’t tell me what to do” 18-year-old. And since he no longer lives at home – he’s right. (That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally still try to slip in some advice or, “you can’t do that!” in my conversations with him.)

And after that I read my 22-year-old daughter’s page. I held my breath as I started. You NEVER know what you’ll find. But it was pretty predictable. She loves her boyfriend, he’s good to her and loves her for who she is (YEAH!!!) and listens to country music. Ok, two out of three aren’t bad.

And she says that I’m one of her heroes. That came as quite a shock.  And, I admit, as soon as I read it I felt this immense sense of responsibility. Suppose I ever disappoint her? Suppose she discovers that I’m only human and I screw up.

After the shock wore off I stopped and thought for a minute. Maybe there was a bigger compliment in there than I’d realized. She and I had some rough patches, just like most mothers and daughters. There were tense times and times she didn’t really want to talk to me. There were times she screwed up and I yelled at her or punished her and there were times she didn’t mean to screw up and I just gave her a hug. And there were times I made mistakes too. Those are the times I said I was sorry and asked for her forgiveness. I guess she already knows I’m human and doesn’t expect me to be some “Wonder Woman” in tights (thank goodness!!).

And I’m still her hero? Maybe that means that she knows me for who I am and accepts me for that. And maybe it means that she needed the discipline that I gave her in order to grow up to be a good person and appreciate me for doing that. Its so much easier to be their friends than their parents but that’s not the job you sign on for when you hold that tiny baby for the first time and promise to love and protect them and help them grow up. They will have lots of friends over the course of a lifetime. Friends will come and go but parents are there for the long haul. Parents have to do the dirty work from changing diapers to teaching right from wrong. But parents get the big rewards in the end to. Real parents. They get to be their kids hero. And they get to watch them raise their kids just the same way, if they are lucky.

Wouldn’t you like to be their hero?

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