The unique heroism of boys and girls

The volcano was erupting — and the fate of an entire village lay in the courageous rescue attempts of my 5-year-old’s Transformers: Heatwave and Optimus Prime.

Buzz Lightyear swooped in and rescued a few townspeople from the top of Heatwave’s ladder — and “little Heatwave” (a smaller version of the same toy) came in to help, too.

Meanwhile, Bumblebee was at the store picking up ingredients for S’mores. (I may have interjected that plot line.)

But wait! The fire pit where we had planned to make s’mores was actually a shark-infested ocean. Ah! Must bop the Sharks on their heads! Be gone, Sharks!

Phew. The sharks are gone. But now—we need to chop up some wood with Heatwave’s big axe to make that fire…

Our adventure in Transformer land was interrupted by a potty break. My buzz-cut boy ran as fast as he could across the wood floors almost slipping over his pajama pants, determined not to miss a moment of fun. He shouted over his shoulder back to me, “Don’t let the girls touch my Transformers!”

But it was too late.

My 3 and almost 2-year-old daughters immediately swooped in from the onlooking couches for playtime. They had been patiently watching as my boy and I saved lives from a bubbling volcano and rid the world of man-eating sharks — now it was their turn.

They each grabbed a Transformer with their chubby little fingers and immediately got lost in play. It was still a heroic storyline, but a softer one.

My soon to be 2-year-old scooped “Little Heatwave” into her arms into a cradle hold and started gently rocking him. “Aww,” she said, smiling at me lovingly. “Baby,” she said affectionately, stroking his head armour.

Kate picked up Optimus Prime and hopped him around sweetly. When I held Buzz Lightyear up to chat, Optimus Prime gave him a gentle kiss. My 2-year-old giggled and decided Little Heatwave wanted a soft kiss, too.

Soon, all the tough Transformers were being rocked, coddled, kissed — and in their wildest moments, dancing.

The 5-year-old returned in a huff: his sisters were playing with his toys! “It’s okay,” I assured him. And then, back to world domination.

I smiled. I believe my girls can take on a volcano — and that my boy can be loving and gentle, of course — but there is a unique heroism found in their differences. Both are needed. Both save lives.

And it’s good to remember: sometimes the most heroic rescue mission in this world is a gentle kiss and unconditional love.

“What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa

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