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.
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.
Super Pappy — Mother 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.
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.