Women and Children First

At six-years-old, I had no idea one day the world would commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. In fact, at the time, it was hard for me to even grasp the magnitude of the disaster.

One evening, Mom and I were in the kitchen. She was cooking dinner and I was more than likely getting in her way.

We were talking about the Titanic and why it sank, when I asked, “What does ‘women and children first,’ mean?”

She explained the men on the Titanic gave up their seats in the lifeboats to the women and children in order to save their lives. And because of this, the men died when the ship sank.

I was impressed with their bravery.

Her simple explanation awakened an ideal in me that remains to this day, as I told her, “I’d give up my seat for you and Adam.”

Mom looked at me sort of strange for a second or two and then her eyes teared up. I was sure that I’d done something wrong as she left the kitchen to go to the bathroom.

Later that night, when I was supposed to be asleep, I over heard Mom telling Dad what I’d said and how proud of me she felt.  Then she added, “I know he’s jus’ a little boy, but I think he actually meant it.”

That long overheard-conversation has stuck with me ever since.

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