Last week I was cruising home soothing my news junkie DTs by listening to NPR when I heard an amazingly touching interview with author Brad Meltzer.
Known for his mystery/thriller books, Meltzer started writing a book eight years ago after his first son was born. He was slowly creating a list of people he felt were heroes.
It was heart-warming listening to him discuss the process by which he wrote his first non-fiction book. He took his true talents and applied them to a noble cause…to instill in his children the knowledge that no matter who you are, you hold within yourself the ability to impact lives in a positive, forceful way.
I drove past my home and went straight to the book store. Later that night I started reading the book to my kids.
It forces you to engage them, explain to them why things were the way they were. Why a black man was sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit in Mississippi. Why Anne Frank and her family had to hide for so long from the Nazis. Why giving away everything you have to help others can be so rewarding.
How the simplest act of doing what you believe is right can sometimes impact the lives of three….sometimes millions.
The journey of a parent is always changing, filled with twists, unknowns, and lots of stiff drinks.
When your kids are babies you instill the basics of life…walking, making sure they don’t choke on their food, and the glorious pooping in the toilet trick.
A little later it’s “no biting,” “we don’t use our hands for hitting,” and “it’s not OK to run around the neighborhood naked.”
Lately for me, it’s clear that I’m now entering the phase of molding a young man and woman’s mind. I’m guiding the creation of a person, their beliefs, their decision-making process, and the impact they make on society.
Praising diversity, instilling respect for those who’ve laid the foundation for the spoils of today, and listening to the questions, comments, and responses from my children along the way – that’s what I’ve spent the past few nights doing as we read this book.
It’s why I bought it. Because I was so thankful for the creation of a tool that would allow me to engage my kids in conversations surrounding the ideals and beliefs my wife and I hold so strongly and have always wanted them to learn.
The last page of the book allows you to write the last chapter of the book – a chapter about your hero.
I plan to leave it blank for now. And years from now, use that space to explain to my children why each of them are my heroes.