“what makes you a hero?”

The thing about the average 8th grader is that there is no such thing.  Some of them are taller than me, some are shorter.  Some of their voices are deeper than mine, some are higher.  Some of them are far less mature than me, and some of them are much more mature than me. 

“JT” is an 8th grader.  He is barely 5 feet tall, has the cutest baby face, wears glasses that constantly fall off of his face, and occaisionally falls out of his chair.  He also plays trumpet, and you might remember me mentioning him in this post.  Most days I want to eat him.  Today before lunch he asked me if I coud help him with an English assignment during the lunch break, and I gave in.  We sat down to start  writing, and I asked what the assignment was about. 

“Well, we have to interview someone about being our hero, and I wanted to interview you.”

Take a moment with me.

I sat in awe as this precious 12-year old asked me questions about being a hero.  It was pretty easy to answer most of them – “What do you think makes someone a hero?”, and “What are the challenges that heroes face?”  But one question got to me.

“Do you ever think about quitting what you do?  If so, what makes you keep going?”

I smiled, and thought about the past several days, weeks, and years.  My first answer was honest – “Absolutely, of course I think about quitting.”  Then I answered the second part of his question:

“I keep going because I love what I do, and because other people depend on me to do it.”