“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
SHOW ME HOW BIG YOUR BRAVE IS!!”
– Sara Bareilles
What is brave? Is it the firefighter who rescues the child from the burning building? Is it the soldier who fights in a foreign country? Is it the policeman who takes a risk every time she responds to a call?
But it’s so much more too. Brave is anybody who has overcome adversity, who hasn’t let it turn them to the dark side, who takes one step forward every day despite chronic pain, sick children and relatives, mental anguish, abuse, or even just the stress of everyday life.
Brave is me.
I didn’t used to think this, and sometimes I still scoff at it. I’d never climb a burning building, or volunteer to fight a war, or try to bust a drug ring. When scared, I tend to run in terror, scream and shout. But then, so would many people. But all of us, deep down, have bravery. It’s just not the exciting kind found in the movies. I think Sara Bareilles says it so well in her song “Brave”.
“Everybody’s been there,
Everybody’s been stared down by the enemy
Fallen for the fear
And done some disappearing,
Bow down to the mighty
Don’t run, just stop holding your tongue”
Brave is the kid who goes to public school, who struggles with subjects that are hard, with teachers that are sometimes cold and harder, with fellow students who unleash cruelty at anyone who is different. Who do these things even home life gets tough as well.
Brave is the husband who goes to work everyday even when he hates his job. Who does his work even when his boss does nothing, and does his best. Who fixes his wife’s car, goes to get her prescriptions, and takes care of their children, his job, and everything else when she has to be gone. Who supports her when she cannot support herself.
Brave is the mom who recognizes when she can’t do it by herself anymore. Who risks the stigma of mental illness by admitting it. Who leaves the husband and children and goes into a scary hospital to get medicine and counseling, though it breaks her heart and her wallet to do so. Brave is the mom who writes about it on a public blog.
I am that mom.
“And since your history of silence
Won’t do you any good,
Did you think it would?
Let your words be anything but empty
Why don’t you tell them the truth?”
When I got home from the hospital, Thing Two and I talked.
Me: I only went away so I could be a better Mom.
Thing Two: You already were.
Maybe so, because my kids sure are amazing. But now I hope to be even better. I have another chance. I’m giving it all I have.
And if I can, so can you.
“Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”