Hello son, goodbye Osama and waiting for help

By Brian Knox | Published Sunday, May 8, 2011

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I’ve had several people ask me if I was going to write a column about my new son. You would think it would be an easy thing to do – four years ago I wrote several columns around the birth of my first child, a daughter.

Brian Knox

But I’m finding it hard to do, for some reason. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep (oh, the colic). Or maybe it’s just that there would be so much to say, I wouldn’t know where to start.

It’s very easy to start comparing the way my two kids acted at the same stages of babyhood, but I try not to do it too much. I realize that every child is different.

I guess the main difference is the diaper changing. Man, people aren’t kidding when they tell you that little boys will create fountains on the changing table. For the record, as of this writing, I’ve been peed on 10 times to 0 times for my wife. Yes, I’m keeping score.

I hope the boy likes baseball, because I love the sport and really couldn’t think of anything else to decorate the his room with (plus I already had all this baseball stuff that has been increasingly pushed away into closets and the garage).

One thing I’ve noticed with the boy is he doesn’t like to burp, but he can’t seem to stop passing gas. I’m guessing that is a large reason for the “evening squalls” as we call them around the Knox household. Unfortunately, they seem to start around the time I come home from work and continue well into the late night or early morning.

But despite the exhaustion, it’s a great feeling to have one child in your arms and another one snuggled up next to you on the couch.

It’s times like that when you truly feel blessed.

Like most people, I’ve been tuned in quite a bit to the coverage of Osama bin Laden’s death. I was watching a 24-hour news network’s coverage one evening when the host was interviewing two Muslim women about the country’s reaction to the death of Bin Laden.

One was wearing the traditional burqa, with her head covered except for a small slit for the eyes.

My four-year-old daughter walked in, saw the woman, and asked me, “Daddy, is she a ghost?”

No, I said, and tried to explain that’s the way women dress in her culture. She seemed satisfied with the answer and went about her way.

But it got me thinking about the day when she asks me who Osama bin Laden was, and what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. As parents, we want to protect our children from the bad people of the world, but we can’t pretend there aren’t people out there who would do us harm.

But at least after last Sunday’s shocking announcement, there is one less of those people in the world.

Almost lost in all the news coverage of Bin Laden’s death is the president’s decision not to agree to Governor Rick Perry’s request for assistance for the victims of the recent wildfires across Texas.

Perry, understandably, was not pleased with the decision.

“I am dismayed that this administration has denied Texans the much needed assistance they deserve,” Perry said in a statement released Tuesday. “It is not only the obligation of the federal government, but its responsibility under law to help its citizens in times of emergency.”

Some might see some irony in the statement. After all, Perry has been highly critical of what he sees as an overreaching federal government.

But it is also imperative that the administration is not playing politics. Texas is a red state, and many of its elected officials have often been quite critical of the current administration. But that should play no part in delivering help to Americans in need.

It could just be a matter of timing. With the devastating tornadoes that ravaged the southeastern portion of the country, there is quite a bit of need at the moment. Hopefully Texans in need will soon get the help they deserve.

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