The other day I was looking at my younger daughter Emily’s MySpace page, and saw that in the space where you can name who your heros are, she had written “My Mom”. So, I went to Rebecca’s page, and saw that she, too, had named me as her hero. I have never considered myself to be anything special, or extraordinary, so I got to thinking about what a “hero” really is, and wondered why either one of my daughters would think of me that way.
When you look at the dictionary definition of the word “hero” it is defined like this:
- a man distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength; “RAF pilots were the heroes of the Battle of Britain”
- the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem
- someone who fights for a cause
- Greek mathematician and inventor who devised a way to determine the area of a triangle and who described various mechanical devices (first century)
- a large sandwich made of a long crusty roll split lengthwise and filled with meats and cheese (and tomato and onion and lettuce and condiments); different names are used in different sections of the United States
And in the thesaurus, suggested words for hero are
- Brave man
After looking at all the things that a hero can be thought to be, I wondered which of those things my daughters actually think of me as. So, I investigated the different meanings of each of those words suggested by the thesaurus.
Since I am certainly NOT a brave man, (and don’t consider myself to be a brave woman, either) I skipped that one just on principle. Next up, a Champion. A champion is a winner, a champ, a victor, a title holder, and a defender. To Champion something is to defend it, such as in side with, stand up for. And a defender is a supporter, a backer, a campaigner, an advocate, or a guardian. So, in the sense or meaning of Champion, yes, I could be that, since I was a single mother for most of the time I was bringing up my children, and I supported them not only financially, but emotionally, physically at times, and spiritually. I supported them in everything they attempted to accomplish, and I must say they accomplished a lot.
On to Conqueror. What does that mean? Defeator, vanquisher, subjugator, and captor. I don’t think that meaning is relavent at all. At least I hope not. Did I inadvertantly vanquish any of their dreams? Did I defeat their attempts at anything? Did I hold them captive to my desires? I guess I will never know the answer.
Last on the list is Idol. The handy thesaurus gives us icon, statue, god, diety as substitutions for that word. An icon can be a star, a model, a symbol. Am I the model of the person they want to be? Am I a symbol of what they want to achieve. Oh, I hope not. I hope they accomplish more than I have; I want more for them than that. I certainly am not a god or a diety. But, again, in the sense of the meaning of idol, as a model or a symbol, I guess that could be closer to what my girls mean when they say I am their hero.
Or maybe they think of me as crusty and cheesey and full of baloney, a hero sandwich!