Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quiet Heroics

Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


So often you see real life heroes saying that they didn't do anything special. They just did what they had to do. I've not saved anyone's LIFE, but... I have had people tell me lately that I helped them or that I inspire them. I'm always blown away and even baffled. How have I inspired anyone? I often feel like I'm fumbling through life, always trying to do better - for myself and for my family. And maybe that is inspiring.

When I first began announcing to friends (while still pregnant) that Spencer had Down syndrome, it seemed like every other person had a contact for me. Everyone knew someone whose life was touched by DS. Everyone had phone numbers and names for me... but who wants to call a stranger... especially for such a personal issue (one could even say personal struggle). I am not shy, but I was terribly tentative about reaching out.

Momma Jorje: Quiet Heroics

And then... I researched. I learned. And I had Spencer. I got a little bit of experience under my belt. And then I would meet another new(er) mom to a child with DS. And I was so excited! I began to understand why people were so willing to have their numbers passed along to total strangers. Having a child with special needs can be scary. But having Spencer has been so wonderful and I know many others with similar feelings. So I sit over here, quietly, writing my blog posts to hopefully increase Down syndrome awareness. I welcome private messages from fans and friends of friends. I reach out... even to strangers, to let them know that it really will be ok. This daunting parenting task isn't usually as daunting as our imagination makes it out to be.

My very first opportunity to do this was actually in the NICU while Spencer was still there (for just one week). A pair of twins were placed next to Spencer and one was thought to have DS. I got to visit with the parents and the grandparents. I think (and hope) that I lessened their fears. Not to toot my own horn, but the people that do that for me with the specific issues I face - I see them as quiet, welcoming heroes, too.


I love to talk about my son! I love talking about my experience. I understand the fears and am absolutely willing to listen and share. We all have our own experience and can be a hero to someone. You're probably already a hero to someone and don't even know it.

Who has been a hero for you?



Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn't have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of "superheroes," ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte's little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she's learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone's Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone's hero. Read Mandy's lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter's superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don't Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka "Hot Mom") asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It's not heroic when you're living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.

9 comments:

  1. I'm sure you've seen the poem about raising kids with special needs and how its like thinking you were going to Italy, but ending up in Holland instead (http://www.our-kids.org/archives/Holland.html). Its so different then what you thought it would be at first, but in the end it is just as beautiful. I'm glad you can be a hero to someone who is still learning the beauty of Holland. :-)

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  2. Taking time out of a busy day to listen or offer an encouraging word isn't easy in these times when a million things are needed to be done by yesterday. Slowing down, opening up, reaching out are valuable gestures :-) Thanks for the reminder..

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  3. You are such an inspiration :) Have I ever told you that when Crunchy Con Mommy started volunteering with NPN, that she just gushed about you?

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    1. She was so sweet when she reached out to me! And now we chat often. :)

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  4. Very inspiring indeed. I like the idea that we all might be heroes in small ways for someone :)

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    1. I absolutely believe it, but I think it is very easy to forget.

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  5. That is really inspiring! I'm so glad you found that reaching out helped you and that you're able to pass it on.

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  6. "We all have our own experience and can be a hero to someone." - This is so true. We forget sometimes just how much difference those small everyday acts of reassurance and support can make.

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  7. I love how you grew on your journey as a mama to a child with DS. I remember how tentative you were in the beginning. You didn't feel comfortable reaching out. But now look at you! You are like the champion of DS mamas!

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