It must have been an article I read or at very least a conspiracy theory Facebook post, but recently I came across an article that stated when you ask a man who his female heroes are, he inevitably says his wife or mother. Now, dear reader, I love a good challenge and game, so I decided to test this on my husband.
Me: if you had to pick a female hero, who would you say?
Me: doesn’t count
Husband: I guess my mom
Now, I’ll give my husband credit. I’m spectacular (and modest!). And his mother came to to American alone in her earlier years to forge a better life in a land polar opposite of the one she was accustomed too. Heroic for sure.
After more prompting, I got him to add Kamala Harris. Success.
When my son was born, he looked at me in such a way that made me absolutely melt. Don’t get me wrong, the relationship I have with my daughters is also unique and special. But my son looked at me like I was novel, or a wonder. Remembering how he would look up at me, with those piecing green eyes, I no longer want to shun the label of men idolizing their mothers. Or their wives. When he was a baby, I told myself that I would do whatever it takes to maintain that same look of admiration (and I apologize publicly now to my son’s future partner).
Fast forward four years. I was asked to speak about anesthesia at a local elementary school, different from where my kids attend. Desperate to appear cool to 3rd graders, I fashioned an experiment where I mixed baking soda and vinegar into a coke bottle, and promptly attached an anesthesia reservoir bag to demonstrate how anesthesia is a gas. I practiced the experiment numerous times with my son, and I caught him looking at me the way he did when he was a tiny baby, holding my finger with his sticky, chubby hands. The sparkle in his eyes could melt anyone, but as his mother, this look is the reason I remember to breathe. My chemical reaction could have been a Nobel peace prize, for all my son cared.
A few days after establishing myself as a cool kid on the elementary circuit, I was stopped by my son’s teacher.
Teacher’s dramatic re-inaction
My son: Mrs. Principal, Mrs. Principal, can my mom come teach science? SHE'S GOOD WITH BODY PARTS.
I may not be a Kamala Harris. I may have scoffed initially at the lack of women heroes out there for men, but damn it, I am good with body parts! And if I earned the pedestal from one little boy, who sees just one woman as a hero, I did my job.
Love, Morgan (a boy mom)