unsung “LITTLE” heroes

10 Feb

Let’s hear it for the boy! 

They say each kid has his or her own personality. Some kids are very mellow and easy-going. Then there are kids who are very energetic and leave you feeling like a tornado just struck the room and you feel tired just watching them. Some kids crave the stoplight and want to recite for you everything they know, while others shrug and hide behind their mom’s leg just to escape being the center of attention. Some kids pay attention to detail and carefully pick up their toys, other kids don’t even notice toys tossed every wich way and want to kick and squash every thing in sight.  Thank God for all these differences, chances are you probably recognize one or more of your kids’ personality here. Some will use their personalities for their future tasks, callings and/or carriers. I don’t want to jump ahead of myself, so I’ll just focus on how some kids are blossoming into their future adult self as we speak.

My son Rockford  is by all accounts a mellow, easy-going type of kid. He loves books, spiders and pizza. He is very observant, has attention to detail and one can reason with him pretty logically. My husband calls him our “nerd” child (in a loving way). He is not what one would call a “rambunctious kid” or a “wild child” . He analyzes the task at hand and needs to know he can complete it before executing it. He’ll observe the way kids are playing before joining them. He is also the most cautious “safety first” kid you’ll ever meet. This will help you understand why I thought it was out of character what happened next.

My sons and I go to the park at least once a week. Every time it is almost routine that Rockford takes off to the sanded playground area while Rocco and I stay on the outskirts of the playground to lay a quilt on the fresh grass and sit on it.  I keep an eye on Rockford and listen out in case he calls out for me. On this given day, I was sitting down feeding Rocco and watching Rockford play with the other kids in the playground.  A couple of minutes later I hear a little boy crying and I immediately start calling out for Rockford. The other kids on the playset  looked at me and asked if that little boy was my son, pointing at Rockford. I looked at the tall curved ladder he had managed to climb and there he was, holding tight to the second to last bar with his feet on the third to last bar. He held that bar for dear life and cried out for help. Wondering how he managed to climb up there, since he had never attempted this ladder before, I tried calming him down. He either had to make his way back down backwards, or move two more bars to make his way to the top of the playset.  He was too frighten to move either way. How was I going to get him down, he stood about two feet above me and I had Rocco latched on still feeding! I felt helpless. There in front of him was a young boy about eight or nine years old telling him to move foward and he would help him. Still, Rockford was too scared. I was determined to get my boy even if I had to make my way around the playset, even with a baby latched on me.  As I came around to start climbing, I see the most beautiful thing. The young boy had somehow managed to convince Rockford to climb the last bars and he grabbed Rockford as Rockford held on tightly to him. I was so thankful, so thankful for this young boy. He was so calm, so encouraging and polite with my son. I asked his name and he said, “Chris”.  “Chris, thank you,” I said.

Still standing on top of the playset, Rockford cried and was still shaken by what had happened. I managed to convince him that he was brave enough to climb all those other bars by himself and that he should be very proud of himself and not feel scared or sad. Upon realizing this, his demeanor changed and felt very good about himself. He quickly made his way down the playset and sat with Rocco and me. By then Chris had made his way down to the grass field and was tossing a football with his friends. Rockford’s site didn’t leave Chris and he kept saying, “Chris helped me.” I asked him if he wanted to say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for sending Chris to help him and he immediately agreed. He was smitten with Chris and kept looking for him in the grass fields. For the first time he understood the concept of what a “hero” is.

On our way back to the car I overheard two ladies talking and pointing in the direction where Chris was playing. I stopped and asked, “Are you talking about Chris?” One of the ladies turned to me and said, “Yes.” “Is he your son?” I asked. She replied, “Yes he’s my son.” I went on to explain how Chris had helped my son when he was scared and stuck in the playground and how grateful I was. Her answer impressed me,”That doesn’t surprise me. That’s what he does. He loves helping out.” She said this very casually and matter of fact. I replied, “You’re doing a great job mom. Thank you.” Rockford was so happy to meet Chris’ mother and he too thanked her and we headed home. 

Till this day I don’t know why Rockford climbed that ladder. I can only imagine he was following one of the kids he was playing with. Till this day we remember that incident. And till this day, Rockford remembers only one Chris. This Chris who helped him. I believe what left an impression wasn’t so much that he got him out of the pickle, because I do that all the time and he doesn’t seem to remember. I think what Rockford remembers is the calm, kind leadership quality he saw in Chris. He felt comfortable and confident that Chris would be there for him when he climbed the last two bars, he must have, because he didn’t move when I frantically asked him too. 

A leader takes people where they want to go.

A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.
— Rosalynn Carter

Leadership is doing what is right when no one is watching.
— George Van Valkenburg

Perhaps this was not the worst case scenario for my son. Perhaps it wasn’t a life or death situation. However, he was in need and someone rose to the occasion with nothing to gain and showed kindness. Somehow, this gave me a sense of  hope for my kids’ future. There is still hope for tomorrow’s generation. Thanks to the mothers and fathers that are making a difference at home and raising good kids who practice good behavior and responsibility. Thanks to those parents, on ordinary days and places we can find extraordinary acts of kindness… and tomorrow’s leaders.

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

–Proverbs 22:6

To all the moms and dads raising future gentlemen, men of integrity and wise leaders, I salute and thank you for your dedication, patience and wisdom imparted on your boys that will make for a better world for our children. Otherwise, as said by Dr. James Dobson, “…when they [parents] fail in that mission, trouble stalks both generations”. Thank you Lord for these random acts of kindness by these little unsung heroes…like Chris.

Let us take this time to celebrate unsung Little heroes who have shown great character, responsible behavior like kindness and respect. After all, this rarely deems as high recognition as academic and athletic excellence. So recognize your little unsung hero that we may rejoice with you!

2 Responses to “unsung “LITTLE” heroes”

  1. erika crosthwaite February 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    The sweetest STORY ever it gives me soo much hope toO! GLAD TO KNOW THERE IS LIL HEROES OUT THERE!

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