Bloganuary 2 – “How are you brave?”

It’s funny how life works, isn’t it? What you spend time thinking about, you find yourself surrounded in – like, if you’re pregnant and obsessed with being pregnant and all it’s wonders, you find yourself noticing other pregnant ladies, babies, baby clothes – it’s suddenly everywhere.

For me, the theme of my life this year – and probably for a lot of years if I really think about it – is COURAGE.

I read an article in “Womankind Magazine” (it’s an absolutely beautiful, inspiring magazine) about Courage not being the absence of fear – but being the resistance to fear – the will to keep moving forward even when you’re scared. That’s courage. Being scared and doing ‘the thing’ anyway.

So.

Today’s Bloganuary prompt asks “How are you brave?” and I have to tell you, my 1st response was to beat myself up for being a coward most of the time. I was genuinely worried about answering because I don’t think I’m brave at all, really I don’t.

But unbidden, a memory came up of me standing up for my brother while our family was on holiday ages ago. Jay was only about 10 years old, bless him. Dad was drunk and was annoyed – with everything. We were at a Restaurant and every little noise was setting Dad’s temper off. He was grumbling under his breath, and his face was getting red and blotchy – clear signs of an increasingly angry Dad. Mom, Jay and I did our best to behave and be as quiet as we could…but it wasn’t really working.

Jay loved coins when he was little, you know. He liked the feel of them in his hands and the ‘clink’ they made when they knocked together. He had a pocket full of them at dinner and when he moved, they all joyfully spilled out and clattered onto the floor.

That was the strange straw that broke the camel’s back.

Dad lost his mind.

F*cking coins! Always with the coins, Jay! What is wrong with you, son? Why can’t you play with normal toys?!”

The whole Restaurant had stopped to look because Dad had surpassed ‘slightly raising his voice’ and had gone straight to screaming.

“Sorry, Dad” Jay bent down to pick up his beloved coins.

I saw Dad’s hand in slow motion – it was open-palmed and headed straight for the top of my brother’s head.

This was unprecedented in our family as Jay is the golden child and NEVER gets disciplined – especially not physically! I think Mom and I were shocked, watching in horror as Dad’s palm moved closer to Jay’s innocent little head.

This wasn’t happening on my watch, no sir. I absolutely adored my “little brother” so without even thinking, I got in the way and copped a blow to my face instead.

That was a trigger for me to lose my temper.

“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?” I shouted. Dad wasn’t the only one who could scream this evening. “He’s just a little boy, Dad! You’ve been badly behaved all evening and I for one AM SICK TO DEATH OF IT. I’m taking Jay to a movie and you can sit here and think about what you’ve done. You can pick us up at 8pm” and with that, I swung around, gently picked my brother up from the ground – coins in tact – and headed towards the cinemas next door to the Restaurant.

I’ve never stood up to my Dad before.

It seems it was the evening for all kinds of “firsts” to be set.

Dad watched, silent and open-mouthed as we left. Me with my head held high. I honestly felt I’d grown 2 extra centimeters. I felt SO GOOD.

Dad apologised – to Jay – (but I’m used to that) when he picked us up from the movie later that evening and he never again lost his temper at my brother – or smacked him. EVER AGAIN.

I look back on my life and whenever I’ve seen someone bullied, lost, hurting or alone, I’ll step in. I’ll sit with them so they’re not alone or call them over to where my friends and I are having lunch; wanting to make someone feel included and important. If an opportunity to stand against injustice is right there in front of me, I’ll always intervene and do my best to protect whoever’s hurting – or about to be hurt.

That’s how I’m brave.

Sitting quietly beside the new kid at school might not be the same as rushing into a burning building to save 15 people, but it’s a good start…and ultimately a good thing to do for someone who needs it.

Heroes don’t always wear capes.

…sometimes they’re just the hand that slides into yours when you’re hurting and squeezes it to remind you that you’re not alone.

3 responses to “Bloganuary 2 – “How are you brave?””

  1. What a crappy dad and good for you Janet in standing up to him!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Roki 🙂 my Dad definitely had his moments but in all, he was a pretty awesome Dad. I was glad to have stood up to him, though. I think when we stand against injustice, it’s always a good thing xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are truly an angel my dear. Breaks my heart that your brother doesn’t realise that. I hope he comes around.

    Like

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