Sunday, May 15, 2011


Holding my first grandchild Olivia for the first time yesterday was one of the most awe-inspiring experiences ever. It has been more than 16 years since my youngest daughter was born so it's been a while since I've had a newborn in the immediate family, but it feels a lot different this time. I think it is the passage of those years and all the experiences in between that cause that feeling; after two decades of raising three daughters I feel much more insightful now about what it means to have a new baby in my life.

The big thing that impresses me the most about this new life is the total blank slate she is born with. Here is a baby that has every opportunity open to her in the world; there have been no doors closed or bridges burned in her life. There is an absolute purity to Olivia -- she has never done anything wrong nor caused anyone any pain (OK --maybe her mom Amanda might argue that one).

What do babies dream about? We watch her sleeping and know something is going on in there because of her facial expressions -- both happy and sad, and some downright disgusted -- but what is she thinking about?

I have never seen a baby so alert at not even a day old. I have her on video checking out her surroundings, when she actually turns to look when the doctor enters the room. What kind of a shock must that be after some nine months in a womb to be able to look around and hear unmuffled sounds?

--check back for more to come --

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Since we just placed three separate Osama bin Laden stories on three pages of tomorrow's paper, the questions raised by the writers of those articles are heavy on my mind.

Number one is President Obama's announcement that they would not release a photo of bin Laden with a bullet through his head. For a change, I agree with the commander-in-chief -- do we really need to see that gruesome depiction of the violent death of a terrorist? I don't think so. It's always been my experience that a morbid rubbernecking interest in seeing something gross results in a feeling of regret afterwards when I realize I didn't really want to see it to begin with. And then it becomes all I can think about and scarred in my mind. So I for one don't need to see any picture of a dead bin Laden. I trust the president when he said bin Laden's dead.

Number two is the whole celebratory atmosphere in the festivities going on as people revel in his demise. I understand this to a certain level -- here is a heinous killer responsible for the deaths of thousands of people. But aren't we stooping to his level by dancing in the streets chanting? Isn't that what the terrorists and their supporters did the day the World Trade Center fell? It's a relief that he is off the face of the earth, even as we tread lightly in the apprehension of a possible retaliation, but I don't think an out-and-out party is called for any time a human being, no matter how evil, meets his or her death.

Number three is the likelihood that bin Laden was unarmed when the SEALs killed him. So what? He has proven his danger to humankind and Americans in particular. I don't care if he was cuddled up in bed wearing bunny slippers and wrapped in a blanket watching cartoons; he deserved to die. And if I ever find out who the SEALs were I would shake all of their hands. (If any of you heroes stumble upon this blog I just have to say thanks and job well done!)

Number four is the folks who say bin Laden is not really dead, and the whole thing is just a ploy by President Obama to earn ratings points with the American public. Are you serious? Stop and think of what a gamble that would be. Sure, right away that big victory would -- and has -- given him a renewed shine in the political arena. But take a step beyond the moment to consider what would happen when it was revealed bin Laden is still alive? That rating would nose-dive in the opposite direction. Love him or hate him, President Obama is way too smart to take a chance like that, especially with so many people just champing at the bit for him to fail. No way would he take that risk.

Of course, this is all just my humble opinion and I'm sure not everyone will agree with me ... so feel free to respond with your own thoughts.