July 09, 2013

Heroes Among Us

A little while back I was cornered in the hallway after church by a woman who proceeded to launch into a long one-sided conversation concerning the behavior at church that day by my 11 year old son.
It started as an unduly long reprimand, but soon turned into a full blown tongue lashing -- "inappropriate. . . [blah blah]. . . rude, disrespectful. . . [blah blah]. . . bad example. . . [blah blah]"  Did she see me actually look at my watch half way through her unsolicited lecture in disbelief on how long that could carry on for?  Unfortunately not.  Perhaps she just had her pantyhose in a twist because all of the other adults interacting with him that I spoke to that day, including his teacher, didn't seem to share her same concerns.
After I was released, I went to my car and shared the 'conversation' with my husband.  He sighed and shook his head in disgust and disappointment.  His conversation he then had with me had an entirely different perspective.  A perspective of love.  It started with, "Doesn't she know. . .?"

Doesn't she know that Lance gets hit, kicked, screamed at and smacked by his brother every time he is in the car, including to and from church?  Doesn't she know that almost every element in his life is interrupted by the needs and demands of his special brother?  Doesn't she know that he doesn't care - that he wakes up early to go join him in his bed and the first thing he does when a friend comes over is run to introduce them to his brother? 

Doesn't she know that he has been without a mom for over a collective year of his life as I have clocked at least that much time of his life in hospital stays and medical appointments? Doesn't she know that when his mother had back surgery and couldn't (and still can't) lift Bridger and the world is full of "let me know if I can do something" people that Lance was by his mother's side for 2 months, lifting and hauling his little brother's heavy body in and out of the car, in and out of his bed, in and out of his wheelchair - at times, his eyes brimming with tears from the tremendous weight that his child-sized body could barely handle? And all of this done in the heat of the summer without a single complaint, but only a "don't worry Mom, I've got this." 

Does she know the ultimate respect that every teacher and staff in his school has for him because of the love that he shows not only his brother, but every child - including every child with special needs in his school?  Does she know that he was elected by those same teachers to the Student Council for his own initiated platform of helping the school raise awareness and acceptance towards students with disabilities?  Does she know that he elects to play with his brother for several hours each day doing the silliest games and gets him laughing like no other?

Does she know that when I was going through his old Boy Scout stuff to throw it away that he insisted we keep it for his brother?  When I explained to him that I didn't think that the Boy Scouts was a program Bridger was going to be able to participate in Lance assured me that he was, because he was going to get every patch, award and merit badge with him.  Does she know that when Bridger screamed point blank in his ear at the most deafening decibels that would have caused someone else to reflexively swing their arm and strike, that he only just exhaled deeply and sighed, "oh, Bridger"? 

Does she know that when Bridger had a horrible fall and had to be taken on a 30 minute ride down a mountain to a hospital, pouring blood out of his face and dropping out of consciousness due to the severity of his concussion that Lance thought he was dying, but sat beside him in the car wiping the blood from his face trying to keep him conscious while bravely saying over and over, "come on, Bridger, you can make it"?

Does she know that he makes his bed every morning without being asked?
The movies are full of super heroes, the fictional type that move mountains and crush buildings and do all sorts of super-human feats.  I have a real live super hero living under my roof, in the form of a 11 year old boy who could teach everyone a lesson in love, acceptance, long-suffering, charity, tolerance and respect - without even saying a word. 

There is a hero among us. 

Did you know?