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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hero

When Erin was born I started having these urges to heroism: I'd imagine that we'd be backpacking along in The City somewhere and I'd see a mugging going on and somehow I'd intervene (safely, without endangering Erin in any way whatsoever, of course :} ). Or I'd imagine going to Darfur to defend refugee camps and  help air drop supplies to the refugees. Or I'd imagine running (ok, walking) a marathon to help raise money to fund something (the Bunion Relief Association possibly).

My point here is just that when Erin was born I developed an insane hero-complex. I feel like I need to do something to change the world for the better, to show her it can be done by one person, to inspire her for the rest of her life.

My daydreams have been darker too. I envision morbid little scenarios in which I die doing something to save her, her mom, some stranger, a kitten, because in that moment I decide that I need to teach my daughter how to be a hero.

Today I'm obsessed with Joseph Richardson's story. He died, pinned against a guard rail by a car driven by a drunk driver; but he died holding his little girl up over his head to keep her from being smashed. She will live because he had a perfect moment of clarity before the car struck him.

In my darker moments I hope I can achieve that same perfect moment of clarity.

Heroic clarity.

In my more illuminated moments I realize that I don't have to stop a mugger or limp a marathon or die in a suitably tragic manner to teach her about heroism.

I just have to point at her mom, who works too much because we moved to an area that demands it so that I could go to graduate school, and so that I can spend my days playing with my daughter.

I just have to point at how loving, focused, and strong her mother is.

I just have to memorialize the sacrifices her mom makes to keep us healthy and happy at home.

****************

That should take care of Mother's Day, right? ;}

Excuse me, I have a diaper to change and a lunch to make.

28 comments:

the husband said...

Sneaky and sweet! I hope this isn't your only gift for Mother's Day. Go buy her something pretty, and finish ALL the chores! ;)

MereCat said...

That is very sweet. That whole teamwork concept, when applied correctly, can make a marriage invincible. A successful and loving family is indeed an act of heroism and bravery. Good dad.

Jennifer said...

eh... it's probably not a bad start ;) hehe It is true though- as parents, we think we have to be SuperMom or SuperDad... but really for the kids, we just have to be us. They already think we're awesome :) Lucky for us!

Danielle said...

You just made me cry.

Convince Hallmark to put that on a card. And then sell it to my adoring husband...

Very sweet.

Don Mills Diva said...

It's definitely a good start. This was a really sweet post.

Gerbil said...

That's a really good thought. Really good.

MadWomanMeg said...

Just when I'm sitting here saying "awww what a lovely guy, she's so lucky to have him", you go and finish it off with a line like that.

Though yes, it is a good start. Now if you could please whisper, nay - shout loudly, in Hotty Hubby's ear and give him a push in the right direction, that would be great. Thanks.

Swanny said...

I know the feeling completely. When my daughter was born, I tried to make do with wearing my Superman t-shirt everyday, but she figured out pretty quickly that I lack most of the Supes' traits.

So now I just try to stand for truth and justice and pray that my wife and I can do our best to set good examples for her.

Great post sir.

for a different kind of girl said...

If you put this on a slab of wood and decoupage it, THEN it would make a fine Mother's Day gift.

Yep.

No, really, this is great. When we lift each other up, then I think we're gifting our partners every day, and what it shows our kids is valuable.

Not as valuable as a decoupaged chunk of wood, mind you, but a bit more.

Loralee Choate said...

1. That was so freaking sweet.

2. A lot of parents have this train of thought from time to time. I think it's pretty normal. (Not that you were concerned about that or anything.)

3. Sorry dude, but you are still on the hook for Mother's Day.

SciFi Dad said...

Dude, if that doesn't get you laid, I don't know what will.

Oh, and blah blah blah, very sweet, blah blah blah, you're such a nice guy, blah blah blah...

Aunt Becky said...

Oh dude, I hadn't heard of the story before. And now you owe me a new keyboard because I sobbed into this one and shorted it out.

Heather said...

I've never heard about that story either. Did you make that up?
j/k

Stacie said...

UGH that Joseph Richardson story about broke my heart!
I think it's wonderful that you hold your wife in such high regard adn that you want to teach your daughter what it means to be a true hero..very cool.

But Dude? You're so not off the hook for Mother's Day... :P
Stacie

Mandy said...

Very nice post. It's amazing how fatherhood changes men too. We tend to focus a lot on moms and not as much on dads.

mommastantrum said...

You could make a flower out of dirty diapers...

theneatos said...

Way to make me all misty. Great post - great father - great husband.

That story you linked? Wow ... intense. It's terribly sad to hear that he is gone, and in a strange way touching to see that a story covered a father's love for his child - instead of crazy people tormenting and injuring their children.

me. said...

Awww, I can't click on your link becuase I have a propensity to bawl at work, but that combined with your tribute to your wife has me a little teary eyed.

Liz@thisfullhouse.com said...

I'm going to go and kiss my husband, really hard, when he gets home tonight!

Tomorrow, too.

Hell, the man best be ready to suck face for the next couple of years...I hope!

Michele said...

I came here via the Links of Love list and I am so glad I did. You are awesome. I would just print that and stick it in Erin's scrapbook.

bsouth said...

Ok, I've made it to you on the list now (sort of feels like cheating because I read you regularly anyway!). What an amazing and lovely story. Sending a virtual sit down with feet up to your wife!

AnnaC said...

Funny, just this morning I was thinking about what might be different for a stay at home dad than for a stay at home mom...

My brother-in-law became a sahd two years ago when an injury made it impossible for him to go back to work at the same time that taking care of his two-year-old became impossible for my 70-ish mom.

I was thinking about it because my nephew is 4 today! And I was idly wondering if the two of them were out fishing this morning when I called to wish him a happy bday and no one was home.

My bro-in-law is a cleaning fanatic, always was even before he was sahd, so the house is always clean and the dishes are done...though he doesn't like cooking if it isn't bbqing. The two Kevins (my bro-in-law and nephew) spend many days fishing, lots of time at the park (attempting to tire out lil Kev), and lots of time outside.

I was thinking they probably don't do grocery shopping or running other errands, though...

I am sure you already wrote about all this... could you point me to the right labels so I can see your take on this...

THopgood said...

Awwwwe! Loving her mommy will make you her hero. No death defying feats necessary.

Backpacking Dad said...

Ok, so I started typing replies to everybody as I normally do, but then I noticed I was typing roughly the same things over and over again. They are

(1) aw man. <-----because I have to finish the chores

(2) dangit. <-----because I'm not off the hook for Mother's Day.

(3) Yeah I know. <-----because Joseph Richardson's story is really earning a spot in my stand up tragedy act. It's fundamentally fathering.

(4) You're a sappy bastard. <----because you are. And so am I.

(5) Ya'd think. <------because I agree that this post should have gotten me some attention.....you know...in the bedroom area.


Special, super, Secret Squirrel props to FADKOG for referring to "decoupage" more than once in a post. Mad props to Sci Fi Dad for noticing that yes, I am a sweet guy.

Mumma Boo said...

Very nice! Erin is indeed a lucky little girl to have two great parents who care so much about her and each other. Now I have to go hug my little ones in honor of Mr. Richardson (and just because I like to hug them...)

Gwendolyn Peregrine said...

I was thinking that you're probably her hero already. Although nice of you to turn the post to Mom's heroics ... that has to earn you some brownie points!

Kat said...

Ah, this almost made me cry. I hope my husband feels that way about me.

You still have to get her a Mother's Day gift, though!

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Very nice, but I'd still get a present!