It's 1am and I am startled awake by a frantic cry for help from my 6 year old. I leap out of bed and sprint to his room at the back of the house as if I were a natural born runner. I arrive at his side and witness tears of fear as he shakes and points to his curtain saying "there is somebody hiding behind my curtain." Without an ounce of fear I whip the curtain back ready to engage in hand to hand combat with this intruder only to find that I left his window open from the warm spring day. I return to his side after showing him it was the wind that moved his curtains and snuggle him back to sleep. I'm fairly certain he saw the invisible cape I often wear!
As parents, don't we all wear the cape? Sometimes it is to eliminate a scary bug in the house and other times it is to sooth a fever with the right remedy. Do children ever stop thinking of their parents as superheros? I think not. I can remember times as an adult when my father rescued me from a broken down car or my mother made some delicious soup to "cure" my cold. They are still my superheros.
So what happens when you can't save your child from the evils of the world? The times when they are subjected to mean actions at school? The times when they realize they don't have curly hair like their best friend? Or in my case, the times when their minds and bodies are inflicted with a disorder that a cold wash cloth or a dose of medicine can't cure. How do you play their superhero? They expect it. They don't worry about it because their superheros always keep them safe. That is one of the biggest challenges of parenting.
So what do I do as I wait for professionals to "cure" my son? I guess my answer is to pray, advocate and educate. Instead of diving into my next book (the Art of Racing in the Rain), I am diving into books on resistant eaters. Instead of scouring Pinterest late at night, I am researching treatment approaches. And instead of splurging on that Starbucks, I'm looking for jobs I can do while caring for my Beaner because good treatment is not cheap. It's amazing how our children can change the course of our lives suddenly and require us to re-evaluate our capes. After all, no matter what challenge they throw at us, we have to find a way to be their superheros.
As parents, we are often