in·trep·id (adj), characterized by resolute fearlessness, fortitude and endurance, an intrepid explorer
Intrepid moms are a fearless group. To protect our children, we will walk out into oncoming traffic, argue with the school principals, and dispose of troublemakers without batting an eyelash.
Intrepid moms have fortitude. We will read food labels, search the internet for second opinions and silently lurk on our kid’s facebook pages even if sometimes we’d rather not know.
And we have endurance. We can survive on 4 hours sleep, listen to constant complaining and sibling rivalry, and never give up on our troubled teens. We also never stop worrying or nagging or washing dirty socks.
An intrepid mom is also the moral compass of her family, trying to instill the beliefs and values that we want our children to live by. We all want our children to be “good” people but what does that mean? It’s a dilemma I face with my children every day – Should my daughter give this panhandler money? Should my son spend all his hard-earned allowance on a violent videogame? Should we take the car or walk to the park? Should we buy these jeans that are made in a sweat-factory or these strawberries that were flown 2000 miles to get here? We all face these kinds of decisions every day and how we act on them defines the path we want our children to follow.
I think today, it’s becoming a lot harder to find the moral compass we want our children to follow. I battle obstacles that are in the face of my kids every day – greed, materialism, self-preservation, and a general lack of empathy. My hope is that, through this year-long journey, we will experience with our children important life lessons that will challenge us to finds new ways of looking at the world and, in turn, ourselves. And in the end, will give us the direction we need to lead a “good” life.
Tony and I were lucky to have two intrepid moms who used their moral compasses to help us find our paths in life.
My mother died two years ago but she still guides me today. Her underlying philosophy of life, that she passed on to my brother and I, was “Don’t worry, be happy!” Sounds glib but what my mom really meant was that we need to put aside our petty complaints and find the bright lights. She never wanted to burden anyone with her own problems. She went out of her way to make other people feel comfortable and welcome, to learn about their lives and to use her remarkable sense of humour to make light out of all things dark. Her moral compass taught me humility, compassion and the healing power of laughter.
Tony’s mom recently passed away after a long battle with cancer. But her strength and hope helped everyone who was close to her deal with the unfairness and desperation we all felt. She never let her condition get in the way of continuing on with her life, enjoying every moment she could get with her family and close friends. Her beautiful home in the country was as much a respite for all of us as it was for her. It is through her that my husband and his two sisters were taught integrity, conviction and the value of family life.
As a result of these two strong mothers, Tony and I have a strong moral foundation to move ahead in life. Let’s hope we can do the same for our children.