If you have been following me for a while, you have probably learned by now that I live in a house comprised of nerds. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Big Bang Theory and pretty much anything anime are routinely viewed around here. This weekend was no different. Saturday night I fell asleep watching LOTR and it made me make a few comparisons about my life.
I have always had issue with the fact that Frodo is hailed as the hero in these stories. Sam is the one that is always there to help and support. He is honest to a fault, he tries to get Frodo to see the truth about Gollum and is tossed aside because of it. When he fears that Frodo is dead, he protects the ring so the orcs can’t get it. When Frodo realizes this, he questions Sam’s intentions. When Frodo can’t walk up Mount Doom anymore, it is Sam that carries him……and when the power of the ring finally calls to Frodo and he ends up going over the ledge with Gollum, it is Sam that makes sure he doesn’t give up and pulls him to safety. Through all of this, he continues to call him Mr. Frodo, never letting on that he should be anything but subservient to his previous employer.
There is one line that Sam says as they climb Mount Doom that I love, “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”. This line speaks to me as the mother of a mentally ill child. I can’t take on the pain and struggles that my child has, but I can do my best to carry him through it in an effort to help him reach his goals.
As parents of special needs children, we are the Sam’s of the world. We know that we will share the blood, sweat and tears of these challenges with our children. In a way, we will also always be subservient to them. As parents, everything we do, every decision we make is for our children and for the betterment of their lives. It happens when we are honest with them and they condemn us, when we are doing things to protect them, and especially when we lift them up and carry them because they don’t feel like they can do it anymore. We know that our efforts will probably not be appreciated or understood by them. Really, in the end, their achievements are our achievements, so we sit in the background and smile as everyone cheers them on….because we know what we have done to get them there.
So, I am Samwise Gamgee….and I am ok with that. He is one of my favorite characters, after all.