Superheroes are mighty famous these days. They wear capes and save cities and often make the news. But I know of an unsung superhero that doesn’t fit that mold. He’s got a heart of gold. He’s a farmer, and he’s my dad.
Some heroes don’t wear capes or tights. No, the hero I’m talking about has a much different uniform. My dad, the farmer, never left the house without his hat. His favorite was well-worn and frayed with various stains from sweat and dirt. It shielded his eyes from the sun and was occasionally used to wave livestock into a pen. While he loved that hat on his head, he’d always make sure to take it off to pray or eat, and occasionally, he’d look down at me, smile and put that too big hat on my head. I got to wear a hero’s hat.
My dad didn’t save cities like a typical hero might. He didn’t come rushing in, greeted with cheers. My dad fed cities, quietly growing crops and stock to put food on people’s plates.
Don’t think that my dad doesn’t have to vanquish villains as a farmer. Believe me he does. They come in the form of pests and storms and disease. Like any hero, my dad takes some hits, but he always comes back up swinging ready to save the day.
Some heroes don’t make the news. My dad, he just watches it, constantly monitoring the weather and crop and stock prices. Watching the news is just fine with my dad. He has no desire for praise or glory, but I’m here to say that he’s an unsung hero that deserves so much praise and glory.
Damsels in distress look more like heifers and sows in my dad’s hero world. He’s always quick to rescue or coddle or treat an animal in distress. Then there’s Dad’s special dame—Mom. Now my mom is tough and a hero in her own right, but sometimes heroes need a helping hand. They often team up to manage this farm and raise us kids hand in hand.
Many heroes wear masks, but not my dad. You know just what he’s thinking—mad, happy, sad. And if you study his face, you’ll begin to see lines. Lines that were made by smiles, scowls, and time. It’s in that face where I’ve seen both pride and disappointment for the actions I chose. I’ve also seen both farming joy and farming woes.
Some superheroes have special powers like flying, super strength, or speed. My dad’s superpower is being a farmer. He can drive a tractor, fix anything, go all day, and knows more about crops and livestock, than you’d ever dream existed. He also has dad superpowers. He is both stern and gentle. He gives words of wisdom, but knows just how to make us laugh. Perhaps his greatest power is that of love. He loves his family and loves being a farmer.
My dad doesn’t wear a cape or have super strength. He doesn’t wear a mask or get featured on the news, but that doesn’t make him any less a hero. He’s a farmer. He’s my dad, and he’s my superhero.