Poor Zoe. She has some unfortunately bad timing with clothing and accessories and news events.
The first happened a few years ago. The Country Boy wanted to show me his alma matter so we made a trip over to see his old stomping grounds. It was a beautiful campus, made even nicer by hearing stories of adventures from days gone by. Considering that the Country Boy is not one for blabbing on and on, it was an even more memorable day for me. So I did what any mom would do – I bought t-shirts for the girls and I to wear with his college logo.
Zoe loved her shirt and it quickly went into the “favorite shirt” rotation (you know, that small grouping of clothes that seem to be worn all the time no matter how many other clothing they have in the closet.).
And then Jerry Sandusky happened. At first, I didn’t stop her from wearing the shirt. Penn State is a great university filled with quality students and faculty. I didn’t want to judge the whole school harshly for the conduct and behaviors of a few reprehensible people.
Then came the day that the jury came back with the verdict. Can you guess what shirt came up in rotation? So there I was having to explain to little Zoe why that shirt might not be the best choice to wear on that day. Thankfully, Zoe is a thoughtful and bright kid, so I was able to explain the nuance of still liking the school but not wanting to give the impression by wearing the shirt on THAT day that she supported the program which allowed some really bad behaviors to happen. Heavy topic for a little kid.
Flash forward to recent times. Over the years, Zoe’s life has intersected with several people – family and friends – fighting cancer. Several knocked cancer on its backside (Wahoo, Gramps!) and some are in for the long battle (Go, Andy!). Somewhere along the line in recent months, the girls were given bracelets to show their support for cancer fighters. Zoe, of course, started wearing hers every moment of every day.
Then Lance Armstrong decided to come clean about being dirty.
[Editor’s Note: This whole story has a more personal connection to Zoe because I was on the Champs Elysses to celebrate Lance’s 5th Tour de France victory. I came home from that trip with a croissant in the oven so to speak…]
So there we were discussing why having the yellow LiveStrong bracelet itself is a fine (great foundation, does much for those fighting cancer), wearing it to school yesterday may lead to either comments from other kids or give the impression that she supports Lance.
[Editor’s Note #2: I am all about redemption, 2nd chances, forgiveness. If Lance truly is sorry for cheating/doping and comes clean to USADA as well as apologizes to those he maliciously attacked when they told the truth about him, then he would be a great man again in my book. Right now, though, he doesn’t seem to own up to what he did or how his choices impacted others.]
So, the yellow bracelet came off yesterday. She’s still sleeping so I don’t know if it will appear today. I sort of hope it stays off until next week sometime because the world is talking so much about what Lance did or didn’t say.
Laying in bed this morning I started thinking that it is tough to find good and worthy heroes these days. Maybe the heroes of the past were just as flawed but were able to hide it better without the 24-hour news shows constantly on the prowl for stories. Maybe we were all duped in the past but were blissfully ignorant of their cheating or flaws.
I laid there wondering if there would ever be a shirt or bracelet or symbol that Zoe could wear that was guaranteed to not come out in a scandalous news story. The only one that I could think of was the cross. While there are definitely some in this world who use their Christian faith to hurt or persecute others, the cross itself is above that.
Kids need heroes. The world needs heroes. Good and decent people are out there still, right? Good guys can win, I think.
Maddie and Zoe asked if the Tour would award the runner ups to Lance’s victories the yellow jersey. I had to explain that they, too, were guilty of cheating along with many of the other top finishers. They said that then they should give it to the rider who finished last because they were probably the one who didn’t dope which is why they were so far behind the others.
Those girls. Always thinking of others.
I know one thing- they’re my heroes.