As a child and even early adulthood, I thought of a Superhero as someone from a fiction movie who fought crime and wore a spandex costume. You know, the ones you see in the action films, lifting a car off a group of people or someone fighting a villain to save a city. Superman, Wonder woman, Spiderman (my kid’s favorite), and even Ironman are the go-to options when naming Superheroes. But what about the ordinary, amazing people making small contributions to society that help the world go around? As a parent and just a human being in a pandemic, I now realize that Superheroes are all around us. I look at my own family of essential workers, nurses, social workers, dental personnel, who never took a moment away from serving others. I hear stories of my sister, a social worker, risking her safety and well-being to allow an adult child to FaceTime with a parent dying from COVID-19 in her nursing home. I see my husband wake up at the crack of dawn every morning to make sure his customers have the supplies they need to keep their businesses up and to run successfully. In my eyes, they are the ones who silently wear an insignia on their chest.
Let’s not forget the Superheroes who have given their all to ensure that our children are learning and growing in knowledge during the most challenging times. They, or we, for that matter, have ever experienced.
The world is now full of parents who have had to turn their homes into makeshift classrooms, and the stress can be overwhelming. By the 3rd month of the school year, my 5-year-old had given up on school. She spent several days crying underneath her desk as she tried to adjust to the cold, sterile environment that online school provided. I snapped a picture and sent it to her VPK teacher, Ms. Claudia, who took it upon herself to video call Victoria every day to ask her how her day was and fill her up with love and motivation. Even though my daughter has finally adjusted, and Ms. Claudia does not need to call every day, there are days that I can still picture her on the other line with her imaginary cape blowing in the wind.
It is not hard to find Superheroes when reflecting on those who continuously go above and beyond for others. Every parent has or will experience, at some point, pandemic or not, the dilemma of who to trust with their precious children. Our family was blessed, and we were referred to a daycare teacher who has been our lifeline over the last five years. Not only did she get our baby who had refused a bottle for over nine months to drink from her happily, but she also taught our kids to read, and write and remind them to say please and thank you, and never once has she refused to a short notice drop off if we are in a jam. Having a dependable support system as a parent and in life, in general, is vital to everyone’s physical and emotional health.
I now realize that Superheroes are all around us if we take the time to open our eyes. Let us not forget to thank them, appreciate them, and acknowledge them.
“Heroes are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”– Iron Man.