To be a hero you have to be imperfect. I am not talking about the Super Bowl MVP, or the one who carries home hardware from The Oscars or the Grammy Awards. I am talking about being someone a child can look up to, depend on and model their behavior on. It is a noble goal, and one each of us adults should strive to emulate in our daily life. If we are blessed with a child it is incumbent on us to live the kind of life they can learn from as they work toward being an adult.
I have two children and I know they watch my actions. They see how I treat their mother. Being the best husband I can is part of their development because they will want to pattern their approach to marriage on what they see as they grow up. As I said a hero is not just someone who does the fantastical things in life, but the ones who give their children a great life.
Your children see everything, they see the good and they see the bad. Are we always perfect? Do we always do the right things? No, of course not. There is a time when we allow the worst of ourselves to emerge and that is just a matter of living with others. But that is okay too, as children need to know we are not infallible. If they always feel we are perfect they will feel it is an unattainable goal for them.
My son is eighteen and trying very hard to make his own entry into the world of adulthood. This is the chance for my wife and I to see if what we have done to equip him for this phase of his life was successful. At this age his perception of us as heroes is much different than when he was a toddler and we could do so much for him.
This is not to say we cannot still be his hero. He actually used me as the subject of a paper he has to write for a college English class. His subject is the way I dealt with the sickness and loss of my mother nearly four years ago. I was gratified to know that he still considers what I do to be inspirational. Perhaps there are more examples that I just do not know about, because we all know most teens don’t make a habit of sharing all their thoughts.
I can remember when my son was born, wanting to be his hero. I felt no different when my daughter was born about 30 months later. But our relationship is different, of course, and my heroic efforts are cast in a different light. She is enjoying her first long term relationship with a boy her age and my place as her hero is becoming shared.
I can also claim the opportunity to be a hero to other children whose lives I have the pleasure to touch. There is a group of middle school age kids from church that my wife and I teach on Sunday morning. There is also all the children in our church and my mission activities that I try to gear toward the kids, making them feel like what they do contributes to our overall activities.
Being a hero is not hard; you just have to give it some thought.