Remember when your child was first born? One of the amazing things that happens when we gaze into our newborn’s eyes, is we recognize at some level that we are being called to be more than we were before. In that moment, we would lay down our lives to be that higher person for this precious bundle.
That powerful, intense bond is crucial because over the next few months and then years and eventually decades, we will lay down much of our former lives for our child. When we get up yet again at 2 a.m. to calm a sick, fussy baby, we often dig deep into our reserves to find the strength and patience to meet his or her needs. As our kids age the demands change, but the basic fact remains that our love for our kids causes us to do many things we never dreamed we would be willing to do!
If you haven’t yet seen the video posted above with Rick and Dick Hoyt, I promise you it will be one of the most memorable and poignant examples you have seen of parenting turning us into heroes. My husband was told about this video, and he is not the type to watch YouTube videos or things that are emailed around. Rob had me come downstairs to his office one morning and showed me the clip. When it ended, we both had tears in our eyes, and were profoundly inspired.
Yes, parenting stretches us, often to what seems to be our breaking point. Yet in doing so, parenting has offered me a chance to grow up and mature into a dramatically happier, more fulfilled person. When we accept the mission that comes with our baby, we open up the door to becoming the best person we can possibly be. Rick Hoyt took that challenge, and it took him to an amazing place, a life fuller and richer than any of his wildest dreams. He is a legend now, all because he accepted the mission, along with all of its demands and challenges.
So the next time your kid causes you to do something that you don’t feel you can do, think of Rick and Dick Hoyt. Remember that this is a chance for you to be a hero because of meeting your child’s needs. It won’t make the challenge less arduous, but it just might help you make the right choice.