Who’s Your Hero?

 

“Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on earth.” – Will Rogers

“We are all the hero of our own story.” – Mary McCarthy, author.

 

Who is your hero?  It sounds like a simple question, but for me it’s not.   The dictionary defines a hero as, “a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for brave deeds and noble qualities.”  I find the definition, although accurate, hard l to live up to.   I think we can all agree that our military is full of heroes, but we also have personal heroes.  What makes someone a hero to each of us is subjective and a one-size-fits-all definition doesn’t apply.  Over the years I’ve considered many people I’ve admired to be my hero, but they never seem to maintain their elite status in my eyes (like the Rogers quote above).  My own values and experiences have changed the qualities I consider necessary to have such a label.   For instance, as a child my two heroes were Chrissy Everett and Farrah Fawcett.  Chris I can explain (until years later when a family member had a rude experience with the tennis player), Farrah not so much.  Today most of my heroes usually work in the classroom or in autism centers.  I also experience a bit of hero worship towards some of my favorite authors.  

Last week my daughter mentioned that she had to write about her hero for school.  “How nice,” I said.  “Who’s your hero?”  She replied, “I don’t know.”   I just laughed and commented that if that was the case, she was going to have a tough time writing.

My little girl is not so little anymore, she’s now nine and growing up too fast.  I always wanted a daughter and when the doctor announced “It’s a girl,” I wept tears of joy.   My pregnancy with Aud was easy and she arrived blissfully drama free.  Her older brothers were very premature and I didn’t see them for two days after they were born and couldn’t bring them home for seven weeks.  So when they handed me Audrey right after she was born, all I thought was, “She’s mine, all mine!”  She only left me once while I was in the hospital.   By the third day I was exhausted, and the nurse pleaded with me to get some rest before I went home.  I reluctantly gave my baby up to the nursery, so I could sleep for a little while.  An hour later the nurse came back with Audrey and said, “I don’t’ think she cared for the other babies very much.”  For the first year, we were inseparable! 

Eventually Audrey, not me, cut the apron ties.  My little girl is fiercely independent, headstrong and brilliant.  I know, I know – sounds like a mother talking.   I’m very proud of her, but sometimes she seems to forget, I’m the mother.  It’s often a battle of wills between us, which scares me given that the teen years are looming.  It seems like whenever she asks my opinion about anything, she’ll go with the opposite of what I said.  I also find myself reining her in, because she can get ahead of herself.  Listening isn’t her strong suit.  I need to frequently remind her about manners, respect, and keeping her volume down.  It’s important to note that she’s also daddy’s girl, which honestly doesn’t bother me, because I so wish I’d had a closer relationship with my dad.  Also, intellectually, they’re more in sync.

Last Friday, I found something in her backpack that took my breath away.  At the risk of being perceived as a bragger, I’ve decided to share it with you.  I don’t often look for validation as a mother, because I have mixed opinions about nature verses nurture.  Given my own parental history, I believe there’s a real “rolling of the dice” factor that can play into how a person ends up as an adult.  But this could all be an elaborate psychological hoax that my subconscious has conjured up, to mask the great uncertainty I have regarding my mothering skills.  Either way, what I found made me cry and consider that maybe, just maybe, I might be doing something right. 

Okay, enough with the preamble – this was Audrey’s Hero assignment:

 AudieHero

My mom is amazing!  That’s why she is my hero.  She keeps me safe and healthy.  There is nobody else quite like her.  She is a role model to me.  She is an awesome reader, and an excellent writer.  She has a huge heart, and we have something special between us.  She is always telling me that when I was a baby, I would cry whenever she left me alone.  She inspires me and always encourages me to do my best.  I love her and hope one day to be just like her.

 

Did I mention that I cried?  I cry every time I read it.  I’ve never been called someone’s hero before and I’m both humbled and honored.   I’m shocked because sometimes I’m not even sure she likes me.  I’d be disingenuous if I didn’t mention that I was a little suspicious of the timing – after all, I’m the one who shops for the Christmas presents!  I should also admit that after reading this on Friday, I was totally the cool mom over the weekend.  I baked, watched Christmas movies, listened to story after story and did lots of cuddling.  Just trying to live up to her image, knowing how fleeting it will probably be.

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So this long segue brings me to gratitude.  I’m so grateful for my funny, crazy and smart daughter – for my whole family.  Grateful for my friends, especially those of you who have supported me for the past nine months by reading, liking and commenting on my blogs.  It really means a lot to me, as I try to make a go at this thing called blogging.  I’m still not certain where it’ll lead me, but I’m grateful that I haven’t been doing it alone.  Writing is an area where I do unfortunately seek validation.  By reading my posts, you give that to me. 

I have a huge gift package to give away, full of some of my favorite things!  All you have to do to win is comment below.  One entry per comment.  I’ll also give you a bonus entry if you liked me on Facebook.  If you don’t follow me on FB, please find me (you can go the LKM home page and click on the FB icon at the bottom of the page) and like the my page.  If you already do – thank you so much, bonus entry for the likes.  I’d also appreciate it if you could get one of your friends to like me on FB as well.  Just tell me who it is and I’ll give you another entry.  I’ll pick a winner on Friday night.  Once again, thank you for all the support.

Gift Package includes.

A plush blanket    002

Wine (or gift card)

A gorgeous scarf

peppermint soap

A latchkey necklace

Vanilla Candle

Godiva chocolate

Starbucks gift card

3 books:  The Her Stories Project: Women Explore the Joy, Pain, and Power of Female Friendship, which is a collection of friendship essays, featuring some of my favorite bloggers (Nina Badzin, Lindsey Mead, & Allison Slater Tate);  The Theory of Opposites, by Allison Winn Scotch; and Well Read Women: A Portrait of Fiction’s Most Beloved Heroines, by Samantha Hahn.  I’m working on getting some signature plates for the books, as well!

  Tell me about your hero.  What qualities do you look for in a hero?

38 thoughts on “Who’s Your Hero?”

  1. This is an awesome story!! My daughter is 14 now, and how I wish she was still little. That comment about not being sure if your daughter likes you… Well, I feel the same way on a daily basis. We are complete opposites, but I think being 14 has a little to do with it too!! She loves to do her hair and nails, dress up, wear make-up, wear dresses anytime she can, shop, etc… She dresses up to go to the store, and I’m looking for my shorts, t-shirt and tennis shoes. You know me, and I never cared for any of that “girly” stuff. Just my nature. Allie, I LOVE reading your stories, and you always take me on an adventure. Thanks for sharing with us!!

    1. Thank you Kim. I think it’s hilarious that you have a girly girl:)! How old was she when she got her first baseball glove? I hope I get to meet her one day. You’re mom must be in heaven.

  2. Easy answer…my husband. Anyone else would consider themselves spread thin with all that he has on his plate these days, but he handles it all with grace and humility. I look up to him.

  3. Love it! She completely adores you! That is a promise. It makes me a little nervous that her little cousin is as feisty as her! I do fear the teenage years but she has her side kick daddy that I think she will still be tight with. Love you and miss u guys!

    1. Oh yes, her cousin definitely reminds me of her! That’s why the Indian Warrior boots were handed down:). We miss you guys, too. Cammy was talking about boats the other day, I thought we were talking about cruise ships, but he corrected me and said something along the lines of “No, remember that family that belongs to Violet?” Guess we know who’s boss in on Lake Howell!

  4. I’m not sure if its the Christmas season or that I’m getting older but I cry at hallmark commercials and now I cry when I read your blog. That was very sweet, Audrey is adorable!

  5. What a beautiful story! Audrey is a special girl and a good writer like her momma. I got teary eyed reading this, because unfortunately it does change during the teenage years. I keep telling Lily she better not change how loving she is, she assures me she won’t. I know from experience with older girls that it will change and it breaks my heart. Fortunately, they do come back after those awkward years.

  6. Thank you for sharing this Allie! You are one lucky Momma!

    My big sister is my hero. She is and has always been my biggest fan, best friend, protector and biggest supporter. When I was young and hit the scary female milestones that we all must experience, instead of going to my mother, I went to her. Even though she lives far away, we still talk at least twice a week. She is my confidante and whenever I need parenting, career, financial or marital advice she always gives me a good, honest answer. I wouldn’t know what to do without my big sis and am so thankful to have her in my life.

    I know that I have other heroes in my life that are so special to me. I feel guilty that I am not even going to mention them right now. But when I asked myself “Who is my hero?”, she was the first person that entered my mind = probably because she is one of the few people that have known me all of my life.

    Thanks again Allie! It’s a great time of the year to have these thoughts, it gets you out of the “crazy holiday” mindset and brings you back to the important things in life.

  7. I love this and can so relate. This made me cry too!!! Allie you don’t know how amazing you are and you have always been one of my hero mom’s I know. Blessings

  8. That is wonderful! I love the way Audrey summed it all up in one concise paragraph. What a great little writer! She got it right….you are hero-worthy. Definitely one of mine!

  9. Beautiful. I’ve always had a hard time naming heroes, too. But one trait I’ve always loved in leaders is the ability to admit it when they’re wrong. I think that’s an amazing skill, especially when you have power.

  10. That is the sweetest thing that a mother could hope from a daughter. I love this story! And that is such an amazing giveaway basket! Stephanie and I are so honored to be part of it….

    1. Thank you Jessica. I’m really enjoying all the stories featured in the book. I’m glad you like the basket – all the guilty pleasures indulged in this year. I want to share, because it is the season:).

  11. What a sweet story- and like daughter like mother- she is a good little writer for her age. I know if you asked me my parents would be my hero’s too. It is a tough job…to provide all the support and love that you do.

  12. I love the way you wove this all together so perfectly!

    (For personal heroes — ones that I know — I look for people who consistently make others feel good one way or another!)

  13. At this point I think the most important affirmation I seek is from my children. I’m right there with you on the question “Am I being a good Mom?” We wonder if we are firm enough and loving enough. We weigh the importance of letting them make their own mistakes and being their best advocate. Should we let her wear make up at 12? 13? 16? Do we let him ride his bike up the street and around the corner at 7? 9? 10? We question ourselves every darn day! But wow, what a wonderful affirmation is it when they write about us and actually tell other people about us in this way! Good for Audrey for recognizing she has something GREAT right there at home!

    And on the point of my hero… there are many wonderful people who have impacted me, My own Mom of course, my sister, Susan, my middle school basketball coach, and one of my oldest sister’s best high school friend who was the coolest chick, and a tremendous athlete. But ever since middle school there has been my Best Friend Mary. She is the one who leads by example in all her endeavors: on friendship, sisterhood, motherhood, as a wife, a Catholic, volunteer… she just walks to her own set of values (which are high but realistic) and rarely needs affirmation on any of it. Her wisdom is beyond her years (always has been – even in middle school drama, high school boyfriends, college struggles and stupidity and into adulthood) and ALWAYS well beyond mine. She is who I pick up the phone to call to get the voice of reason, and she knows me better than I know myself and is able to always set me on the right path. I would not be who I am without my best friend Mary. And here’s the thing, I’m not the only one who feels this way. She has an impact and makes a mark for the better on just about everyone she meets. I’m blessed to count her as my very best friend! Thank you to give me this opportunity to say so, feels good to share this with you!

    1. I’m honored that you shared this with me. Mary sounds amazing. A few weeks ago I wrote about my best friends, and you’re right, it feels good. I think it’s easier for me to express feelings like this with written words, than it is to vocalize them. I find I’m more open when I’m writing. Then again, I’m a crier, so if I tried to tell my friends how I fell, I’d be all weepy about it. I hope Mary gets to read what you wrote.

      1. I’m a crier too Allie. And I just re-read your blog and cried again. Plus, this time, I read my comment, and that made me cry too. I think the sentimental cry is anything but “ugly”. We are so lucky to be able to feel such emotions in a strong way. It’s a good thing!

  14. Sorry for the late post. The flu rocked the Smith house in the days leading up to Christmas.

    Allison won the gift package – congratulations! Allison also happens to be one of the authors featured in the Her Stories Project, so I’ve picked a runner up, to win that book. Paula B is the lucky winner. Thank you again for all your support!

    Allie

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