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Carnival of Natural Parenting | Like Fire Engines

Welcome to the March 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Everyday Superheroes

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the remarkable people and characteristics that have touched their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I’m not sure I really know what constitutes a hero or superhero. The Oxford Dictionary defines a superhero as “a person or fictional character with extraordinary heroic attributes.” Our four year old, Ly, defines a superhero as “a super thing and rescues people who are in trouble, like fire engines does.” For the purposes of this blog post, we will be focussing on the latter of these definitions.

A few months ago, I told Ly that she was a hero. There wasn’t a lot of bravery involved in her actions, but she put her own needs aside to rescue someone much smaller and weaker than herself. For a little girl who has struggled with her own, sometimes overwhelming, needs, that’s rather impressive.



The last surviving fledgling had fallen from the nest in the lean-to on the side of our garage and our dog, Timmy, was chasing it. Just a couple of days before, we’d found the remains of its sibling scattered across the yard, so Ly knew all too well what would happen if the dog caught it. For the record, our dog is a rather dear, but slightly idiotic spoodle who adores all of our children and is extremely protective of them. This sentiment does not extend to baby birds, however.

Ly ordered Timothy away and crouched over the little bird, talking to him and comforting him gently. When the dog was distracted, she ran to the back door and called me outside. She didn’t scream or cry (her usual defaults), but explained calmly what had happened. She then ran back to resume her post, guarding the little fellow and reassuring him softly until I arrived with a cloth to wrap around him, so I could pick him up safely.

Her Nemesis

Her Nemesis

We returned the fledgling to the lean-to, placing him on a horizontal beam with food, water and the cloth for shelter, then retreated, hoping that he would make it back into his nest.

And he did. We got to watch that little fellow live and grow and learn to fly with his parents. Perhaps in years to come he will build a nest of his own in our yard.

We don’t really know yet what extra challenges, if any, our little girl might have to contend with throughout her life. That whole fraught process of trying to find out is only just beginning for us, but somehow this adventure is reassuring. We know now that she has the capacity to rise above herself without hesitation; to shed her everyday limitations when another is in dire need. We know that she is “a super thing and rescues people who are in trouble, like fire engines does.” She is our superhero.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon March 11 with all the carnival links.)

  • I Am A Super Hero — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she learned the hard way exactly what it means to be a real super hero and not a burned out shell of a human simply pretending to be one.
  • Quiet Heroics — Heroism doesn’t have to be big and bold. Read how Jorje of Momma Jorje is a quiet hero…and how you probably are, too.
  • Not a Bang, but a Whisper {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs at A New Day talks about the different types of “superheroes,” ones that come in with a bang and ones that come in with a whisper.
  • Silent courage of motherhood in rural Cambodia — Nathalie at Kampuchea Crossings marvels at how rural Khmer women defy the odds in childbirth.
  • Super PappyMother Goutte‘s little boy met a superhero in checked slippers and Volkswagen Polo, his grand dad: Super Pappy!
  • An Open Letter to Batman — Kati at The Best Things challenges Batman to hold up his end of the deal, in the name of social justice, civic duty, and a little boy named Babe-O!
  • My Village — Kellie at Our Mindful Life reflects on the people who helped her to become her best self.
  • 5 Lessons My Kids Taught Me — Children are amazing teachers, when we only stop to listen. They remind us to choose happiness, to delight in the small things, to let go and forgive. There is so much we can learn from our children. Justine at The Lone Home Ranger shares a few of the lessons she’s learned.
  • Could you use some superpowers? — Tat at Mum in search shares a fun activity to help you connect with your own superpowers.
  • Like Fire Engines — Tam at tinsenpup tells the story of the day she saw a surprising superhero lurking in the guise of her not entirely mild-mannered four-year-old daughter.
  • Everyday Superheroes — Erica at ChildOrganics shares her list of Walker Warburg Syndrome Superheroes that have touched her life forever.
  • My Superhero of the Week: Nancy GallagherTribal Mama muses about the transcendent things her superhero mom has done.
  • My choice in natural birth does not make me a super hero — Bianca, The Pierogie Mama, discusses her thoughts on her experience with the perception of natural birth and putting those mamas on a different level. Does giving birth naturally give cause for an extra pat on the back? No! All mamas, no matter how they birth, are superheroes.
  • Someone’s Hero — Sometimes being a parent means pretending to be a grown-up, but it always means you are someone’s hero. Read Mandy’s lament at Living Peacefully with Children.
  • Growing into a Super Hero — Casey at Joyful Courage shares how owning our behavior and choosing to be a better parent, a better person, is an act of courage.
  • A Math Superhero — Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling writes that her 7-year-old daughter’s superhero is an MIT-trained mathematician.
  • It Starts With Truffula Trees And Tulips — Luschka of Diary of a First Child takes a hard look at the realities of her relationship with her mother, and through this post goes on a journey of discovery that ends in a surprise realisation for her.
  • We Don’t Need an Excuse — Maria Kang (aka “Hot Mom”) asks women #WhatsYourExcuse for not being in shape? Dionna at Code Name: Mama asks Hot Mom what her excuse is for not devoting her life to charity work, or fostering dozens of stray dogs each year, or advocating for the needs of others. Better yet, Code Name: Mama says, how about we realize that every woman has her own priorities. Focus on your own, and stop judging others for theirs.
  • It’s not heroic when you’re living it — Lauren at Hobo Mama knows from the inside that homeschooling does not take a hero, and that much of what we choose as parents is simply what works best for us.
  • Superheroes, princesses and preschoolers — Garry at Postilius discusses why his preschool-age son is not ready for comic book superheroes.
  • The Loving Parents of Children with Special Needs – Everyday Superheroes — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares posts with resources for parents of children with special needs along with posts to help others know how to support parents of children with special needs.
  • Everyday Empathy — Mommy Giraffe of Little Green Giraffe shares why her secret superpower is everyday empathy.
  • The Simplicity of Being a Superhero — Ana at Panda & Ananaso explains what superheroes mean to her wise three-year-old.
  • My Father, The Hero — Fathers are pretty amazing; find out why Christine at The Erudite Mom thinks hers is the bees knees.

26 replies »

    • They certainly can surprise you! Especially when they really struggle with some of those little things and then excel at some of the big ones when you least expect it. :) Thanks for reading!

  1. How sweet! I often speak of bravery with my children. Being brave isn’t about being strong or fearless or beyond the scope of mere humanity. Being brave means doing what you know is right despite being any of those things.

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