Thirty-seven years ago today my wife Mary and I became parents for the first of what would be four times.
Our son Dave, now married and a parent with twin sons living with his wife, Sarah, in North Carolina, came into our lives in 1983, just more than a week past our second wedding anniversary.
Both of us had been blessed with terrific parents, so we had a strong foundation starting out. But when family members had gone home and it was just us and this newborn son, I remember a definite “Now what do we do?” feeling.
We weren’t perfect. No parents are. But we had each other and a good support system and all four of our kids have become terrific young men and women. Two have already become wonderful parents themselves. A third is expecting later this year.
The good Lord willing, we’ll continue to be there for all of them.
Neither role — parenting or event grandparenting — has ever been or ever will be easy. If you don’t have that foundation and support system in place, it can range from extremely difficult to nearly impossible.
We both know how lucky we were to have had that. Too many don’t.
Once I became an adult, I remember my Mom often saying “I feel so sorry for you kids today.” That was because, as she’d tell us at times, she thought the world was going “to hell in a handbasket.”
I’ve never known for sure where that phrase came from, but I know it meant she was concerned for our future in a world she found more troubling than ever.
There’s no question she’d be thinking that now if she was still with us.
The coronavirus is not only still an issue, it’s getting worse in many parts of the nation and the world. That, in no small part, is because of the stubborn, stupid refusal by too many to accept this virus as real and to wear masks to help slow its spread.
To those people, I’ll say this: When Republican Senators Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) and Lamar Alexander (Tennessee) start supporting the idea of people wearing masks — Alexander even urged President Trump to set an example by doing so — there’s no longer much wiggle room for anti-mask stubborness.
Right alongside the issues of COVID-19, there’s the reaction by some who can’t or won’t embrace the need to move steadfastly in the direction of racial equality.
Racism has a long, complex and often brutal history in our country. Some of the comments made by opponents at last weekend’s Black Lives Matter rally in Watsontown and on our Facebook page in response to our “Black Lives Here” special report, make it clear those attitudes won’t subside quickly.
But many more people made positive comments. Some, at their own social media peril, even took on those who made negative postings. Maybe that’s part of the reason why several of the people we spoke to for that report said they think this time can be different.
If you have not yet watched the video interviews our reporters did for this series, I hope you will. They remain posted prominently on our website.
I also hope that parents, new and not so new, will take seriously their important role in keeping their children from ever believing someone is less somehow because of the color of their skin.
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