Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Magical Moment 174, "Be Your Own Hero"

A few days ago, my sister Regina told me about an idea that's been rolling around in her head for a while. She thought it would make a great blog, so I asked if she wanted to guest write on mine. As I read this, I felt so proud of all she's done and I know that she will be an inspiration to many. Most of all, to her two boys. Go here to see more of her own blog, She Lives in the Light.

"Be Your Own Hero" by Regina Teague

I grew up thinking I needed to be rescued. Everyone needs a hero, right? I didn’t really have a hero growing up. Oh, but I wanted the fairy tale. I wanted the knight in shining armor, four kids, a big house on a beautifully landscaped acreage, complete with a white picket fence. I would stay home with my four children and be the mom who made the best chocolate chip cookies and have them fresh out of the oven when they got home from school.   No joke. Seems idealistic, but I tried with all my might to create it. Well, as it turns out, life isn’t always a fairy tale. I have found myself a 29-year-old single mother of two preschoolers, no degree and no job. Not exactly where I thought I’d be in life as my thirties are fast approaching. I didn’t know how to load songs on my iPod, how to put air in a tire (still don’t) or change a tire for that matter.

I muddled through the first few months after my circumstances changed. Then one day I got the best advice I have ever received. Be your own hero. I thought back to my sister when she started college. She shocked us all and joined Army ROTC. She was quite a shy, timid child. The Army, really?!? She went to college and got a four year degree, completely paid for by the military. She ran two miles in 14 minutes, jumped out of airplanes and fought to win a place in her male-dominated branch. She learned a lot, gained confidence and now she lives in NYC and is chasing another life-long dream. Okay, so as it turns out, I did have a hero. But I needed to rescue myself. And my sister inspired me. 

No, I wasn’t particularly inspired to join the military, my kids need me. I need to be their hero too. The past several months have involved a lot of things I never thought I’d have to do. I marched myself into an attorney’s office so I could do what finally needed to be done and protect myself financially. I went on-line and applied for every government and state aid I qualified for. I bugged my mom for her nursing assistant text book, so I could re-test and become active on the Nebraska State Registry again. I applied at the University of Nebraska and picked a major. I met with an advisor and signed up for classes online. I start school in less than a month. I found a counselor and a support group to help myself and my children though our difficult transition.

Maybe those things don’t seem very heroic to you. But for me they are. In five years, I will have a job that I can easily support two kids on. We will be in a better place because of the support we receive from counseling and family/friends. We will bind together as a family of three. My children will have a strong, capable mother, the mother that God intended me to be. I can still be the mom that makes the best chocolate chip cookies and someday might even have my sister teach me how to change a tire. I admit, I still hope for my knight, but not so he can rescue me. Until that time comes however, my sons will know what it means to work hard, struggle together and come out on the other side. What does being your own hero mean to you?

"A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles." -Christopher Reeve

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