Happy: A Quest for Life After Death

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Hero Factory

Colin, my 10-year-old, went on a four-day fishing trip with his cousins and uncles recently. When he got back, his Uncle Zach texted me:

Thx for letting Colin go on the trip. He is a very good kid. He has good ethics and compassion for others.

It turns out that Colin’s cousins spent a lot of time fighting and making each other cry. Colin unfailingly sought out the victim to see how he could help. Usually it was to persuade his cousin to join him in his latest obsession, a game of Magic the Gathering.

I’m not surprised. You know those stories of people who run into burning buildings to save someone? These heroes more likely than not have survived a disaster or trauma. My kids are no exception. They may not have made a dramatic rescue, but they can see where they are needed and they step in. They do not ignore people in pain.

I hate everything my kids lost when their dad died. A cheering section, a skateboarding buddy, a tutor, a driving instructor, a guitar teacher, a basketball coach, a driver, a confidante, a career advisor, a spiritual guide, a grandfather for their children, a friend.

But they gained some things too.