(from left: Cecelya, Dad, me, Mom holding Scott, Dave holding Pedro)
(Scott at about age two)
This is a story about the two best parents I ever had raise me! It's from February 20, 2013.
In one of those you can't make it up articles, Yahoo News yesterday reported on a five year old girl Pennsylvania kindergarten student who was suspended from school for making terroristic threats. Her offense? She pointed a Hello Kitty doll that makes soap bubbles at another child and threatened to shoot them while waiting for the school bus. The punishment originally was ten days suspension PLUS psychological evaluation. The discipline was reduced to two days after her mother, an ex-policewoman, challenged the ruling. Are you kidding me? Have we gone off the deep end with zero tolerance, leaving no room for sensible adults to make sensible policies? Every school in America has reacted to the horrific school shootings but I can't imagine the logic behind the case of this Pennsylvania child. I guess it's just a sign of the times.
When we were little, our folks decided they were going to raise Dave and me without guns. Mom's family were gun owners, living on the farm, while Dad's were not. But you know what our parents found out? Dave and I made guns out of anything we could find and still shot each other, still played cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys. Lincoln logs? Great pistols! Baseball bat? Shotgun! So check out the family portrait at the top of the page. What is it our little brother, Scott, is holding like it just came out of a Sergeant Fury and the Howling Commandoes Comic Book? That's right- a machine gun! I guess our folks finally decided that boys will be boys and the weapon ended up somehow on our acreage on the outskirts of York, Nebraska. To balance Scott's image, I included a second picture from our family flower bed which could have come straight from a J.C. Penney catalog for children's clothing. I think Scott missed his calling!
Our parents were great parents. Much about what I know about their child rearing philosophies came from their talks at marriage and family seminars which they conducted around the country. They weren't perfect as they very freely admitted. But they raised us with balance and they raised us in the Lord. I got some arched eyebrows in my 8th grade classes yesterday when I told my students I never missed a Sunday night or Wednesday night church service for a ballgame. I attended many prayer meetings in my baseball uniform and often arrived late to games or had to leave before the game was over, and Dave did the same. This also happened when we were playing out of town which was half our games in small Nebraska towns like Columbus. I'm sure I didn't like it but I can also tell you this: there was no doubt with my mom and dad that the Lord came before anything- job, studies, sports, anything. That, and not blue eyes, was the most important legacy that was passed on to me by Roger Wayne Hawley and Sarah Nelda Chesshir Hawley. I take it that by the time Scott came on the scene that they had decided that having a plastic gun was not going to turn him into a murderer. Scott's turned out pretty good in spite of having two older brothers. (Come to think of it, that gun might have been protection from Dave and me!) The scriptures teach plainly that children are a gift from God. God expects moms and dads to lay the groundwork for the emotional stability of their offspring; some do and tragically, some don't, to the everlasting detriment of their kids. There are times when schools must play the role of en loco parentis but we, and I'm a teacher, have to use some mature discretion in that vital role. Hello Kitty cannot become our biggest issue.
Applicable quote of the day:
"Making a wrong decision is understandable. Refusing to search continually for learning is not."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org