As your parent, I feel a little bit like Spiderman. It’s probably because I have a really strong “Spidey-sense” (aka. Mom-with-eyes-on-the-back-of-her-head-skills), but even more, I am left at times feeling like I have too much power. Power to influence your precious hearts and minds in how you see the world. Power in shaping you to be people who will hopefully not only be good citizens, but know how to live a life worth living. And like Spiderman says, because I have so much power in my hands, I feel a great sense of responsibility, too.
I know it is my responsibility to teach you right from wrong. Since I’m a rule-based, square kind of gal, that comes easily to me. But one thing that’s not in my nature to do is to step out of my comfort zone. However, that is the one thing I hope we can learn to do together.
I want you to know that I like to be comfortable, to hang out with people I am familiar with, to go places I’ve gone before, and to do things I’m used to doing. To do otherwise takes a lot of guts and conviction, two things I don’t have a lot of. (Thankfully, your Baba does.)
As I get older (and a little more wiser), I’ve learned a few things. One, life is a lot more complicated than I wish it was. Two, people (myself included) are a lot more messy than we would like them to be. Three, God loves us all the same, through whatever complicated life circumstance we may be in and despite how messy we are at the moment.
This is why I’m learning to lift up my head, open up my eyes and look outside of my bubble more often. This is why I chose to see the man standing at the side of the freeway exit with a sign that said, “Lost my job. Have 3 daughters. Please help.” And to listen to the woman standing outside the supermarket who told us about the abusive relationship she just got out of and the 4 kids she has to take care of on her own. And to talk to the man sitting outside Panera who so humbly asked, “Could you get me something to eat?”
I’ll be the first to admit that I used to (and sometimes still do) pass people by. But there came a point in my life (probably after I became your mama), when I knew I had to start caring. Because if I don’t show compassion to those in need, you likely won’t either.
What began as a “should” on my part grew (and continues to grow) into a “want”. As I see, listen and talk to the men and women we meet, I am learning that they are people, too. They are someone’s son or daughter, father or mother, brother or sister. They have a name, a heart and a story.
Though you are both little now, you have great big hearts. Hearts that exclaim, “That person’s holding a sign. Give him some money!” whenever we see a person in need. Hearts that are open to helping and caring for others anytime, anywhere. Hearts that impress me and give me hope that the meaningful things I believe and do are rubbing off on you.
I hope you know that superheroes don’t all wear tights or capes or masks. They come in all shapes and sizes, especially pint sizes. I know this is true because you, munchkins, rescue my heart from denial, selfishness and complacency each and every day.
You are my great, big reminders to live a life of love.
Your friendly neighborhood Spidey-Mama
Take a listen to Sara Bareilles’ song, “Bottle It Up”. I like the part of the chorus that says, “The only thing worth trying to be is love.”
Who do you have a hard time showing love to?