“Hip, hip, hooray, Mommy saves the day!” My four-year-old daughter runs through the living room, quite literally singing my praises. I laugh as she jumps up and down, her socks pulled up high on her ankles. I had helped put those socks on, a task that, on this particular morning, had been frustrating my incredibly independent child to the point of tears. She finally surrendered and asked for help, which I gladly offered. She then compensated me with a melody of enthusiastic hoorays.
I’m in a season of life where I feel like I could use all the heroes I can get. I love a big and dramatic hero swooping in out of nowhere to save someone in danger, but what I’m finding lately, as I’m desperate for more and more heroism, is that sometimes a hero is someone who shows up and stoops down to help you put your socks on. Hip, hip, hooray!
And so I start looking for them, the heroes in my life:
The woman in front of me in line at the grocery store notices me juggling two antsy kids and a cart full of groceries. She smiles knowingly and moves to the side, giving me her place in line. Hip, hip, hooray!
Another woman at another store starts running after me, waving my phone in the air after I left it on a display of toddler-sized pants. She’s out of breath as she meets my eyes, “I really hope this is yours!” It is. Of course it is. Hip, hip, hooray!
A friend knows I’m in the midst of a difficult time and sends me a gift card to buy myself a coffee. Hip, hip, hooray!
I have a minute to myself, so I step outside on an unseasonably warm day and the sun shines brightly on my face. I feel my whole body come a little more alive. Hip, hip, hooray, the sunshine saves the day!
Heroes, it turns out, are usually more available than I once thought.
But, much like my four-year-old, I am also fiercely independent. From the time I was around her age, I have taken pride in being able to take on big tasks (which, at one point in life, was putting my socks on) and completing them without assistance.
But there aren’t very many heroes who show up when they’re not welcome. The heroes I want and need to show up for me have to be let in, and I am the gatekeeper. This, of course, doubles the number of heroes I get to see show up for me because in order to receive help from a hero, I have to be heroic enough to summon it. And sometimes the tiny pleads for help really do feel like gigantic acts of courage.
So I take a play out of my daughter’s book and try to welcome heroes in a little bit sooner. The more I can see heroes, the more I can receive from heroes, and the more heroic I myself become. Hip, hip, hooray!
Mallory Redmond embraces anomalies—she is an adventure-loving homebody who keeps a clean house yet always makes a mess while eating or brushing her teeth. She loves dry humor, clean sheets, and gathering around the table with friends. Mallory and her husband, Darren, live in Ohio with their beagle, Roger, and their two daughters. You can follow her writing here, where her stories are told with the hope of further uncovering the places of connection in our humanity.