Bernadette's kindergarden class has a monthly sharing day -- they have to stand up and give a presentation for about five minutes on any topic. This month they were to talk about their hero.
That's a tricky topic for anyone, but, yeeesh, she's only
five six. I pushed for James's mum, Margaret. First of all, because she's one of two Margarets in the family, the K teacher's name is Margaret and B's middle name is Margaret.
And Margaret is really damn cool. Orphaned by age 10, then enlisted in the British Navy in WWII and flew -- on an airplane! -- to Canada with only her older sister in tow and an address of a friend-of-a-friend's-cousin's-sister that allegedly had a boarding house. Amazing!
Bernadette decided that I am her hero. She wasn't sure why except that I'm a fun mom. Well, that is true.
So I put together a couple of photos to hit some (kid-friendly) high points.
When I was sixteen, I went to the Dominican Republic with Amigos de las Americas and gave vaccines to ghetto children.
(When she's older, I'll be sure to tell the story of how I 'helped' a man that beat his children for crying after getting their shots. )
When I was seventeen, this was my morning commute in Honduras. Yep, I walked up mountains ...
... to go to schools to teach children about the importance of dental hygiene.
(When she's older, I'll regale her with tales of hardship on this trip, including no food, then too much food, then dysentery and having to go through the mayor's house to get to a proper outhouse and how hitchhiking, while fun, is not a great way to get home from a vacation. Also, fire ants really, really like Pepto.)
(I helped put an end to marching band hazing in my freshman year of college, but that's too heady a topic for a young child, no?)
After college, I moved to New York City and lived on the 2nd floor of this building... I was often late for work because subways are really confusing.
(When she's older, I'll sure to warn her that subways are especially tricky when the express switches to the local tracks and vice versa. Yes, 4 and 6 Lex Ave train, I'm talking about you. I'll also explain how exciting it can be when women decide to band together to, ahem, address a chronic feel-copper on the F-is-for-Forever train.)
I worked with graffiti artists at The Door and convinced an art school to provide scholarships for about a dozen graffiti boys so they could stop putting their markers on buildings and start putting their markers on paper.
I worked on a trading desk, which I didn't mention because stocks and bonds are hard enough to learn about at age 26, let alone age 6.
I was on the radio as a news reporter and had my own show and a big silver microphone, just like Kermit.
And before I grew twins in my belly, I wrote a book and am always happiest at a keyboard,
just like Snoopy.
Miranda -- this one is for you. I accomplished a lot before the age of 20.
Was I a dating maven? I was not. Were men beating a path to my doorway? Not exactly.
I *adored* the guys from Amigos, they were cut of the same cloth. I would have married any of them, except the tall creepy guy with bad skin and freakishly unruly hair.
College gets easier because everyone talks about how they hated high school and how they never fit in and you'll be all like "omg, me too me too!" And then you'll read about some group meeting over in the student union and you'll go and meet all the other unicorns.
And then you'll go to the 10-year high school reunion. All the shy nerdy guys will have great hair and fascinating jobs. And all the muscle guys, the jocks, etc., will be partially bald.
See? Faux overconfidence leads directly to hair loss.