Where were you on April 20th, 2010?
I was in the hospital having my oldest son, Wyatt. April 20th, 2010 was the same day as the BP Oil spill. The oil spill was right around Earth Day, and our country felt the spill’s irony and gravity hit all too close to home.
So, here we are. Nearly 10 years after the horrific BP Oil Spill, and we are trying to cope with a worldwide pandemic. My baby is almost a decade old, and his 10th birthday falls in the midst of yet another crisis. Some of you may not know this, but Wyatt means, “brave warrior.” A few years ago, we found out that Wyatt has Type 1 Diabetes, and since that time, he has become a light and advocate for others who have the same disease.
Where am I going with this? Well, this sweet boy of mine was born in the midst of a crisis, he has endured a trying disease, and his birthday is about to fall in the midst of yet another crisis. My point in writing this article leading up to Wyatt’s birthday is not to evoke pity or dwell on the circumstances of his life. The point of this article is to show what happens when you persevere and grow through challenging circumstances.
Each day of his life, Wyatt has been resilient, courageous, and yes, a brave warrior. He has met challenges head on and learned how to GROW through them! Just the other day, Wyatt and J-Man created a sign that said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there!” These boys inspire me and my team regularly.
As we come up on the 10th anniversary of the BP Oil spill and a monumental birthday in Wyatt’s life (hello, double digits!) let’s both reflect on the past and how we want our future to be different. When you’re in the middle of something so big and horrific as the coronavirus, it seems to last forever. Then, you blink and you’re 10 years removed from this chaotic time.
What did we learn from the BP Oil spill?
Every time something so large and wide sweeping occurs, we learn and change systems. We take new precautions, and we improve our communication, so the same disaster is less likely to repeat itself. Our technology improves and so do our procedures. After the BP Oil spill, oil companies invested large amounts of time and money into ensuring a similar accident did not happen again.
As a country, our mindset was challenged. We all discovered how we would respond if a monumental environmental disaster occurred. Yet, in the midst of that chaos, we pulled together, took responsibility, and cleaned up our mess. We persevered and then we adapted.
What will we learn from the coronavirus?
The coronavirus is forcing us to yet again evaluate our mindset. When we are not in control, how do we respond? When we are tired, imperfect, and weary, how do we persevere through our mess? Our children, our country, and our community are watching. We have the power to use this virus as a catalyst toward becoming more vulnerable, kind, and honest leaders.
We are working to improve our efficiencies, how we support education and health care workers and how we protect ourselves from illness. These are only some of the ways our society is changing due to this virus, and I am sure we will be able to point to even more changes 10 years down the line.
So, where were you on April 20th, 2010? What were you walking through, and how is your life different now because of it? For me, April 20th, 2010 was the day my beautiful, brave boy came into the world. He has brought us endless joy, laughter, and love. We love you, Wyatt! Thank you for being an inspiration to us all.
Friends, may you boldly, compassionately reflect on how far you have come and fix your eyes on where you would like to go.