My Sunday started with a noon wakeup call and a run to Toys 'R Us to pick up a swing set/slide combo.
As the son-in-law with a truck and most weekends off, I'm sometimes called into active duty when it comes to moving furniture, yard equipment, oversized new toys and other miscellaneous items.
I don't mow my mother-in-law's lawn, though. I guess I should, but since my sister-in-law, Mari, lives in the house, I don't want to deny her that honor. I'm all for equal rights when it comes to women.
Actually, they never ask me to do yard work. The only one who does that is my wife.
After being awakened from a nap on the couch, I threw on old clothes and took off to meet Mari and my daughter, Mariela, at the store. The customer service person helping Mari had a rough time finding the play set, but after what seemed like 40 to 50 minutes, the play set was loaded onto a cart and pushed out the door.
"This is a pretty good one. You're going to have fun putting this together. It took me two days," the helpful man in the red shirt said as we lifted the play set boxes into the bed of the truck.
"Really?" I asked.
I was thinking, "Am I going to have to put this together? Just because I drive it to their home and help unload, does that mean I have to put it together? If my daughter will be using it in the future, am I then obligated to put this structure together? Do I have two free days to spend on this project? Am I tool handy enough to take this on?"
These are the questions that circled my mind as I drove the big set home. I promised to drive slow and keep a look out for flying slide pieces out the back of my truck, but of course with so much on my mind, my foot grew heavy on the gas pedal.
My daughter and wife both later informed me that Mari and grandma had called me to tell me to slow down and that I had almost lost something on the last turn heading home. I don't even remember the call.
Sometime Sunday evening I was awoken from my second nap of the day and told Mari and Grandma were waiting for me to unload the play set at their house. I backed up the truck to the waiting arms of Mari and my daughter, who had spent the day at her grandma's house. After unloading the goods, I asked my daughter if she was coming home with me then. Of course, the answer was "No." So I waved goodbye and told her I'd see her next weekend.
"Daddy, you're so funny," Mariela said.
After working a little on my writing and eating a Whataburger with cheese, no onions, toasted buns on both sides and no bun oil, I finally had a chance to sit down and watch the series finale of Smallville three days after it originally aired. For those who don't keep up with the show, Smallville is a television series detailing the early adventures of Superman, before the blue tights and red cape.
I won't give away the show's ending, but watching the show late at night got my mind to wandering. I started thinking about heroes.
Superman is definitely a type of hero, a superhero. Police officers, firefighters, doctors, lawyers, scientists, those are all heroes as well, to one extent or another. Then I started thinking, maybe I'm a hero. A rather whiny, chunky hero.
I get up everyday and go to work. I help others when I can, either by informing people through my work as a reporter, or by doing good works for my family and friends. Mind you, these are not the heroic deeds people write epic poems about, and in now way even comes close to the ultimate sacrifices made by men and women in the military and in law enforcement. God bless them all.
This is about little heroism. Everyday chances to do something good for someone else, even though you may not want to at the time, like say transport a swing/slide set.
Even if you're lazy, you too can be a hero. This is coming from one who knows.
Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. is a reporter with The Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.