Sometimes You Raise Your Kids… Sometimes You Just Stay Out of the Way
It's the same dream every parent has of their child(ren)... growing up to change the world, growing up to become president (or an actual legitimate career). Some parents see that dream fade into oblivion, replaced instead of a dream of survival.
Nothing will bring this burly, grown man to his knees quicker than a suffering child. Whether it's a healthy child in an unhealthy home, or a physically ill child fighting for their life, it's my kryptonite. I'm a big softy deep down inside this gruff appearance & demeanor. I can't help shedding a tear seeing the videos of deploying/returning soldiers. I do fine through the husband/wife goodbyes, but once I see those kids crying that mom or dad is leaving and may never come home... I lose it.
If you ask those that know me best, I'm a glass half-full kinda guy. I don't care what my retirement portfolio looks like, as long as the lights are on and mouths are fed. I'd rather turn down a money-making venture outside work to spend time with the kids. As much as my sons wish I was there more, there's no doubt in their minds as to where my priorities lie. As long as the bank account isn't in the red & my family is healthy... I'm happy. I just want the best for my boys.
I'd never want my boys to follow my lead in radio because I want better for them. I don't want to see them struggle like me. I get frustrated with them. I yell at them. I punish them. And yes, it really does hurt me more than it hurts them... I used to hate that cliche. What happens, though, when all the fussing over bath, bed, clean rooms & teeth-brushing takes a backseat to survival? It's tough for me to even think about seeing one of my boys in a hospital bed for even a day, so I can't imagine the personal hell parents go through. I'm sure I'd ask the same thing they ask every day, which is, "Why can't it be me?"
I read an article today about strangers bringing pizza to a sick 2-year old girl in a Callifornia hospital after they jokingly posted a request on their hospital window. I refuse to even imagine what I'd be like if either of my kids got sick. I've got a 10-year old and a 5-year, and to watch a child suffer while I (someone that pisses his good health into the wind on a daily basis with the crap he puts in his body) live a healthy life would be too much to bare. And what a selfish thought to begin with... How will I deal with this?
To see a young child emerge from a battle for their life not once, but twice, it's inspiring. To see someone as young as five with such a battle-weary look about them is a real eyebrow-raiser. Too see that same person put their own personal battles behind them to help others is nothing less than heroic.