A Father's Reflections After a Tragedy

We occasionally receive confirmation that our children appreciate all we have done.

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Sun and daughter walking with their father at sunset.

I do not usually take the privilege of writing columns that make generous use of the personal pronoun. In the wrong hands, such as mine, it can be absolutely deadly and, even worse, produce something either unreadable or of no interest whatsoever to the reader.

Today will be an exception. With so much destruction and discontent in evidence around the country and around the world, it's time for something a little less serious. Toward that objective I give you my daughter, light of my life who – when asked during an interview for a summer internship in Washington, D.C. – identified me as the person she most looked up to in the conservative political arena.

I will cheerfully admit that this is not exactly newsworthy and that it may not be worth your time to read any further. Nevertheless, when a man's 21 year-old daughter (whom he first met as a bundle of hair and wrinkles wrapped in a blanket and cradled in the arms of a nurse) identifies that same man as one of her role models, or at least as someone worthy of respect… Well, can you really blame him if he wants to share the news with the world?

[See a collection of editorial cartoons on the Boston Marathon bombings.]

Those of us who are lucky to have the responsibility for raising children know what a difficult task it can be. The rewards, even if we are the most fortunate of people, often seem few and far between when compared with the tears and travails that accompany parenting, especially in the current era.

It is, to be certain, no less easy to explain to them what happened Monday in Boston than it was to explain what happened at the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in September of 2011.

While raising children does have its collective aspects, it is the most individual of pursuits. We shield our children and do the best we can to raise them. We hope and we pray that they will be safe from harm and they will turn out all right, but we can never really be sure. There is evil in the world and our children are never satisfactorily out its reach. No one thanks us for the job we do.

Still, we occasionally receive confirmation that our children appreciate all we have done on their behalf while they are in our care. And, in that brief moment, we can smile.

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