This I Believe

Madison - Morris, Illinois
Entered on May 1, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family

The Power to be My Own Superhero

When I was much younger, I thought my parents were superheroes. My mom was always home to make sure my sister and I got to the bus stop on time, there was a snack ready for us when we got home, our laundry was always done, folded and put away, and dinner was always on the table. My dad was home at night to let us climb all over him, tell us a ‘puppy story,’ and tuck us in. We never had to worry about a thing; my mom and dad had everything covered. As I grew older, however, I saw that they, too, were human; I came to realize they did not have these superhuman powers I thought they possessed, but rather they might not always be on top of the world. They sometimes had to show their emotions, too. I believe in being my own superhero, because I know I can always count on me.

Within the last few years of my parents’ marriage, I began to see our ‘perfect’ family was not all that I thought it to be. When I was nine, they divorced – I was very upset. I can remember coming into the house one day after school shortly after my dad moved out. I heard a muffled sound coming from the bedroom, and came to find out my mom was in there crying. Seeing my mom cry was hard for me because until this point, I had not seen her upset.

Things changed rather quickly after my dad left. My mom decided to go back to nursing school, so she could be more financially stable. In doing so, she was unable to be there all the time. My sister and I became much more self-reliant – we had to. Looking back, this is when I developed this ‘being my own superhero’ mentality. I learned to be much more independent, and help out at home as much as possible. In being more independent, I was not as let down when my mom or dad could not be there for me; I learned quickly that things were going to be different forever.

In being my own superhero, I have been able to realize that everything my parents’ have done – no matter how hard it was – was for the benefit of my sister and me. I have taught myself over the last twelve years that being self-sufficient is a good thing, and counting first and foremost on me is the best way to avoid any upsets. My parents taught me life is hard, and no one is perfect, but I have to take what I am given and make the best of every situation – even if it means doing it on my own.

I hope to someday teach my children that, although it is just fine to rely on others for reassurance in life’s obstacles, it is more up to him/her to get through the crazy journey; everyone else’s support can come secondary – as a sort of backup. I do not mean to say that I never count on other so support, but rather, I know I can stand on my own when need be, because I have the power to by my own superhero; I have my parents to thank for that.