Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Important Stuff

We'll get to the Cubs a little later. With what they did last night, they can wait.

Today is April 19th. That means my daughter, Ashley, is now 6 months old. You can click on the archive for October if you want to see what a 20 minute old baby looks like. Here's what she looks like now:
Ashley Brooke
It's amazing what 6 months does to a baby. Six months turns a helpless infant into a smiling, playing, laughing little kid. She's a real person now. She went to the doctor today for her check up. She's grown nearly 8 inches and added over 9 pounds. She received three vaccinations and went to sleep tonight with a fever. In other words, she's doing spectacularly.

I can't wait for her to get just a little bit older. Pretty soon, she will be able to sit up on her own. Right after that comes crawling. And then she'll start walking. And then comes, "Da da." And then toys. And then a tricycle. And everything else that comes when they grow up. She and her brothers are why I got into my local school board. I want to watch over them and protect them any way I can. I want to make sure they have the best possible future that I can help give them.

Today is also another anniversary. Ten years ago today, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City killing 168 people. The Tribune ran an article on this yesterday. I read it over lunch. They profiled a former Oklahoma City fire fighter. They also ran this famous picture:

That's Captain Chris Fields. But what really got my eye was the little girl in the picture. Her name was Baylee Almon. She was 1.

I looked at Baylee and her little legs and her little socks. I had to put down the paper. I turned around at my desk and looked at the picture I have of our family. I had a tough time then and I'm having a tough time writing this now.

What got me was wondering how much of what I am looking forward to, Baylee's parents got to see. I wonder if she ever walked? Did she say "Mama" or "Da da"? Did she have a favorite toy?

What got me was knowing that Baylee's parents tried to protect her just like I want to protect my kids. What got me was knowing that you can't always do that.

Baylee would have been 11 yesterday. Ashley is 6 months today. If you have kids, when you see them after you read this, give them a big hug. Don't tell them why, just do it. Protect them with your arms.

And don't ever let go.

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