By Gary Schofield, ESPN 930AM and 102.1FM
So I had written an article about the arrival of March Madness and how I think that the first weekend of the NCAA tournament is arguably the best weekend on the sports calendar, howev
er I decided to switch gears this morning. Not many people know this, because honestly it’s not something that I go around shouting from rooftops, my wife and I took guardianship of our 2 great nephews last fall, due to circumstances that I don’t want to go into detail here, but if you continue reading you may be able to infer.
This morning the youngest boy, just turned 1, woke up with a 102 degree fever and I’ve spent the majority of the day holding him while he sleeps because as you know babies just want to be held when they don’t feel good. In reality it’s a huge inconvenience to bring in children that you really have no responsibility to other than the fact that you can’t imagine them being turned over to foster care. And then feelings of resentment kick in because you know that what he really needs/wants are his parents and they aren’t here.
So I’m left with 2 reasons that I felt compelled to write this and the first is to question how anyone can bring children into this world and then make choices where they are not made a priority and can ultimately be taken away from you, leading to difficult choices that have to be made by family members that didn’t ask for it. If there seems to be a consensus that drug addiction is a disease then why do we accept those afflicted to avoid the cure? Although I believe that once addicted to drugs the control of it may feel like and behave like a disease, you make a choice, to hit that pipe, crush that pill or inject that needle. Especially when people create opportunities for you to get well and you make the choice to continue to “be sick.” Also why do young women decide to make babies with men who already have children that they don’t care of? What makes you think that yours will be any different? These are just a few questions I have, and I know there aren’t any good answers here I’m just sort of venting, but again this isn’t really why I wanted to write this piece.
The real reason I wanted to write this is because over the last few months when I talk to people and they realize the situation that my family is in it turns out that there are way more family members than there should be who are raising someone else’s kids. I wanted to give those folks their due. On the outside it may not seem like that big of a deal, but this situation turns your whole life upside down, regardless of how old the kids are. Take my situation my youngest son is 13 years old, it had been quite some time since I had to be worried about if someone had eaten, needed to go to the bathroom or was dressed in the morning. The days of doing things on a whim are long gone and my house is constantly a disaster, because we’re tired, LOL. What these men and women do and the sacrifice they make in the hopes that a child, whose parents have failed them, still have a chance to be the best that they can be is admirable and should be applauded. It’s not easy, there are days, like the one I was describing today where you wish for your old normal back, but you also understand when you see the children make accomplishments or learn something new or just smile that the sacrifice is worth it.
I really wanted other guardians to know that you are not alone, I’ve learned that there are so many of us out there just trying to do the right thing, but I still need those that are living lives where they are on the verge of putting someone they love in this difficult position, just stop. Think about what you are doing, compounding poor choices never ends well and they are YOUR kids, they need YOU.
Thanks for reading this and if you no someone you think would benefit from reading these words please share it and if you need to talk you can e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org and now I’m going to go root for Virginia, yikes.
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