A year or more ago, I wrote an entry with the same title. In it I describe how my youngest son procured a very special necklace for me. This post, however, is about another of my sons.
Yes, I'm proud of all three of my sons, one no more than the others. However, at different times, they all step up to the plate in different and surprising ways. Lately, it's been the middle one who has me bursting at the seams.
You see, things aren't going so well in Ohio right now. Our new governor seems intent on turning Ohio into a third world nation of sorts, stripping rights left and right from public workers, imposing not just an conservative agenda but a Tea Party conservative agenda on the state, throwing support to corporations, just all around bad stuff. The mood here is quite negative. He's a mean, vindictive guy. For instance, the state teachers' unions actively opposed his campaign, and he publicly threatened that if they didn't take out full page ads in the large newspapers apologizing for opposing him, he's make them pay. And so he is.
So, that's the background of what's going on in the state. Now, my middle son, who is quite the empathetic young man at 15, is also full of vim and vigor when it comes to ideas of how the world should work, what it means to do the right thing, and wants to take an active role in making it happen. He has an internship with Organizing for America, and prior to that worked to re-elect the former governor, to help get some reforms passed here in town, and has knocked on many, many doors, made many, many phone calls trying to make the world as he sees it a better place.
In recent years, he's grown from the hard to console, harder to please, hardest to placate child I've known to--not to sound trite--a fine, young man, an upstanding member of the community.
Yesterday, this same child who I thought would never leave my side, this same child who I thought would never, ever wean, this same child who I thought would never sleep alone in a bed let alone alone in his own bed (and to save his reputation and mine, I won't mention how old he was before some of these milestones were reached), went to a demonstration in Columbus yesterday to protest against a bill that would limit the rights of public workers to bargain collectively. Even if I personally didn't oppose the bill (which I do), I'd still be proud of him for going, and even prouder that he was invited to attend the rally by adults with whom he works.
Initially, I'm sure just going to the rally seemed like a fun and exciting day off school. And it would have been just that. However, the weather was fickle. There was ice, freezing rain, and snow the day prior to the event, leaving school cancelled. Instead of "missing school to do something cool," this wonderful child got out of bed at almost the same time as a school day, stood in the cold to await his ride, rode on a bus for 3 hours, and then stood in the cold chanting slogans, standing in solidarity for and with public workers, for hours, arriving home close to midnight.
What I'm especially proud of is that most people don't grow up thinking that the life of public workers is glamorous. Some few grow up saying they want to be teachers or nurses, police officers or fire fighters. But few, if any, dwell on the possibility of being a road worker, a linesman, a trash collector.
I'm incredibly proud of my boy and his friend for standing in solidarity for those who don't have the glamour jobs.