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Parenting is important

Each time I write one of these columns I feel the need to preface it.

I’ve done my best in the three years I’ve been back writing for the News-Herald not to give everyone a blow-by-blow account of raising my child.

While I am interested in his day-to-day activities and some of my readers are as well, I know by in large you have your own families whose lives are much more interesting.

I’m also keenly aware that one day Alex will not like any mention of him in my column.

Having gotten that out of the way, this last week has been a special time for me. Last Tuesday Alex underwent his first surgery when he had his tonsils and adenoids removed.

Many times in the weeks leading up to that event, I said the same thing. “Minor surgery is something other people’s children have.”

After going through the process last week, I hold to that statement.

While the surgery went fine and his doctor was terrific, it was a trying time for both me and his mother. Both of us went through two weeks of dread before the actual surgery and then sat through an hour of waiting.

Without going into undue detail, the 30 minutes after he woke up from the anesthesia was the longest half hour I’ve spent since the uncertain time of his birth.

I remembered each minute how lucky I am to be a father and how wonderful it is to have a son that you think hung the moon. I hope that is something I keep with me on a regular basis and I believe it is, but last week was a special reminder. I didn’t know whether or not we would lose him because stranger and more awful things have happened.

Thankfully, his grandparents were to support him and both my pastor (the Rev. Buddy Denton) and Joy’s pastor (the Rev. Tommy Kiker) were there as well. All of them made the day easier.

I’m glad to say that he is doing well and that the main problem has been getting him to realize he can’t eat everything he wants and that he can’t be so rambunctious.

The support we received from friends and family made the scary times better and made me feel like a part of a broader family.

Both of our churches supported us and prayed for Alex and us. I can’t thank either of them enough.

Those who knew what Alex had to go through in the local sporting world were equally gracious. The outpouring of concern from those who knew about his surgery was touching.

As always, the Murrays were right there for both me and Alex and there support for both of us continues to be one of the reasons I enjoy this job.

The people surrounding Lawrence Academy’s volleyball team n coach Ed Clouse and parents, etc. n were concerned as were the folks around Bertie High School’s tennis team.

When people care about your child, it becomes an incredibly special things to you.

Being a parent is sometimes the most trying thing in the world. It isn’t to be taken lightly and it isn’t for the faint of heart.

I relish being a parent and the extra time I’ve had with my son while he has recovered has been special to me.

Many times I think people don’t take being a parent seriously. They think it is boring, aggravating and not a very important part of life.

My parents taught me different. My mother and father both loved being our parents and I always knew that. They wanted to be a part of our lives and that is something that remains true to this day.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned from many other parents who I felt were role models. I’ve said before in this space that Steve Friedman is as good a father as I’ve known. He has always relished being a parent to my friend and former co-worker David Friedman.

Dave’s mom, Mary Friedman, has always been the same. They’ve always loved their son and that has always endeared them to me.

I think I learned again last week that being a parent is the most important thing in my life. My son has been my top priority since the day he was born and that commitment was reaffirmed amid the events of last week.

I am grateful to be able to be a parent. It’s something I wouldn’t change no matter what.

Questions? Comments?

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.