The movie, October Sky, is the true story of how NASA Engineer, Homer Hickam, and his friends rocketed their way out of the coal mining town they were raised in, to fulfilling, successful lives.Unfortunately Homer’s father, John Hickam, did not understand why Homer didn’t want to follow in his footsteps by working in the mine…to the point of being harsh and unkind . At one point in the movie, John Hickam, makes a derogatory remark to Homer about the fact that he (Homer) did not recognize famous rocket scientist, Werner Von Braun, when Von Braun shook Homer’s hand at a science fair. In an attempt to prove to Homer how senseless his dreams were, he says, “I heard you met your hero, Warner Von Braun, and didn’t even know it.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Homer replied, “Warner Von Braun is a great man, dad, but he’s not my hero.” The obvious insinuation being that Homer’s hero was his dad.
But then, most parents are heroes in the eyes of their children...Zach started following John around about the time he could walk. In looking up to his dad he developed an excellent work ethic he still has today as well as some valuable skills. And while in some ways they are alike in how they use these skills, in many other ways Zach uses what he learned from John in entirely different ways. But that’s the way it should be and it’s just fine.
The same can be said about Elizabeth, Olivia and Emma. Now that they all have a child of their own, I can see there are things they do just the way I did it for them. But because they all have different personalities there are things they each do differently than I did. And you know what, that’s just fine, too.
Being your child’s hero is about being someone they can look up to and someone they know they can count on to accept them for who they are—even when they aren’t exactly like you. It's not always easy and it doesn't always come without a certain amount of turmoil, but don't most aspects of parenting?John Hickam was a hero and didn’t even know it. He couldn’t see it because he didn’t see what he wanted to see. Can the same be said about you? I hope not.