Like many kids growing up, I watched cartoons and read comic books which encouraged me to want to be a superhero when I grew up. Many young boys and girls have the desire to be a superhero after they watch a movie or read a book about one. When they are asked what they would like to be when they grow up, they believe that they have an option to be Superman, Captain America, or Wonder Woman, along with other careers like an astronaut, fireman, nurse, or electrician.
Once a child has watched a movie about a superhero, they typically go into training mode so that they can become that hero. They hang large posters of their heroes on their bedroom walls. They jump off beds, put on capes and leap through the house as if they are flying, and want their parents to buy shirts, underwear, jackets, and bookbags with their favorite heroic characters on them. They want others to recognize them as the superhero.
Most superhero movies start off with an ordinary person who often lacks courage and strength. These heroes have a mentor who is wiser, stronger, and more experienced who trains the hero to be able to go through the challenges that are presented in the story. Then the movie introduces the villain, and this leads to an adventure. The hero ends up with confidence and sacrifices his or her own life for the good of the world.
When my husband and I were raising our children in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there were plenty of movies and comic books that had heroes in them. We did not have to watch a movie or read a comic book for our children to see some real heroes in action.
Our children had two sets of grandparents that had lived through many difficult times. My parents were immigrants and had made a new life for themselves after coming to America. They faced many challenges of learning a new language and cultural lifestyle as they raised four children while working as tailors in a new country. My husband’s parents worked hard at raising their family of seventeen children and faced the challenges of providing for their large family.
Our children heard stories about their grandparents and how their faith in God and their mentors got them through their challenges. They heard stories about how they were raised, the struggles that they lived through, their perseverance, and the love and blessings that God showered upon them. They heard about the villains in their lives such as the obstacles that stood in the way and how they were overcome. Many of their good deeds and sacrifices were done quietly. They did not want money or recognition, they were just kind, generous and helpful to others.
Our children loved to hear the stories about their grandparents, aunts and uncles and the best part of these stories was that the heroes lived in the same city that we lived in. We were able to invite our heroes to come over and have dinner with us and tell us those stories.
My heart was filled with joy when I would tuck my children into their beds at night. On the walls and mirrors in their bedrooms, they hung pictures of the heroes that they had seen in movies as well as pictures of their grandparents, who were the real superheroes.
My parents were married sixty years when my father passed away in 2016. My husband’s parents will be married seventy years on April 2 of this year. Their lives were not easy. I’m sure that they made mistakes, but they kept the vows and commitments that they made to God, to one another and to their families.
My desire as a child was to become a hero when I grew up. I don’t have a cape or super powers, but I had some pretty great mentors, so I’m going to give it my best effort and keep working on it. Who knows, maybe my grandchildren will hang my picture on their wall and imitate some of the things that I did that may have made me a hero to them. Perhaps my story will be told to my future great grandchildren.
Are you a hero?
Are you a mentor to the next generation of heroes?
Can you help others fight the villains in their lives?
What is your adventure or story ? If you don’t have one, start writing one today. We need more real heroes in our world.