In the past couple of months, I’ve been Aunt Mel pretty well constantly. I’ve gone from playing hero to playing house, playing kid-friendly songs on my guitar, and playing horsie. Aunt Mel briefly became a mountain to climb, then became the rescue crew for a game of, “oh no, I’m falling!” Today, just a tad earlier than expected, my two little grasshoppers – along with my brother and sister-in-law, naturally – started the journey to a duty station in Europe. They were supposed to go to Maryland, but that changed as things frequently do in the military. If Bill Cosby were still doing his remake of “Kids Say the Darndest Things”, he’d have made a small fortune with my niece and nephew. Today my nephew turned one year old, and over the past couple of months we’ve had many conversations (usually consisting of either “da” or me shaking my head and going, “aaaaahhhhh!” while he laughs at me). My niece will be three in July. She’s been walking for a while; my nephew, however, took his first real steps during their time with us and eventually began walking around all on his own. It was pretty cool when one of his early independent walking streaks was directly towards me (and the phone in my hand).
I love my brother and his sense of honor in serving our country. I love my sister-in-law for supporting him no matter what. I just wish they weren’t going to mainland Europe.
There are so many things going on right now that make me question whether this country is headed in the right direction. Just in the past week, here in Arizona, two illegal immigrants have committed serious crimes – one shot a police officer, the other allowed his 8-year-old son to play with his handgun and shoot a 2-year-old. The cop killer had been in a California prison and was incorrectly classified before release, so he wasn’t deported. According to US law, he was illegal, therefore not allowed to possess a firearm; that’s not to mention the fact that he was also a convicted felon, so legal or not STILL would not have been allowed to possess a firearm.
The other case saw a man in this country illegally possessing two .22-caliber guns, one handgun and one rifle. The handgun was on the floor next to a stuffed animal when his daughter saw it and thought the gun was a toy as well. It wasn’t until her 8-year-old brother shot her 2-year-old daughter in the face that she realized the gun was very real. The gun’s owner, as an illegal, was not allowed to possess a firearm. All of this happened in the space of a week.
Now, we have President Obama – the Big O, as I refer to him – claiming that the border is secure enough that we can “start the legalization process.” Really? How do you plan to pull this off? How are you going to talk a House Republican majority into going along with it? I promise, if an executive order is issued, you will immediately alienate all of the middle-of-the-road voters who pulled for you in the last election. It’ll also be the quickest way to get every conservative voter who didn’t vote last time to get out and make sure you’re booted out next time.
We still have drophouses being found in Phoenix. We still have massive drug busts going down involving illegals. We still have murders being committed by illegals. We’re talking about an entire community working to hide each other in plain sight and doing far more than washing dishes and picking crops (that’s what the liberals would have us all believe, that these folks are here to do the jobs that Americans supposedly “wouldn’t do”). They’re not just Mexicans, they’re not just from Central and South America. They come from all over. Here in Arizona, however, they happen to primarily be Latino. That’s not racism; it’s plain-and-simple fact. We’re just a few hours’ drive from the Mexican border.
I often wonder what kind of country we’re leaving for the next generation. What will they inherit? A justice system gone from being in crisis to being in shambles? Insurmountable debt that will be a drag on their hopes and dreams? Indoctrination of liberal, altruistic beliefs that charity must be forced and not from the heart? Laws that prevent them from defending themselves?
My nephew didn’t start walking overnight. He’d already taken his first steps before they got here, he’d just never walked without help before. It’s a difficult process; his little legs are still getting used to it. He’ll walk several steps, then fall flat on his butt. Sometimes he gets back up but more often than not he’ll just get on all fours and crawl. He never cries when he falls. He actually laughs. Sometimes he even does a little dance where he sits before crawling toward whoever he was headed for. He doesn’t give up, though. When he decides he wants something he goes for it until it’s in his tiny, slobbery little hands.
I once worked with a guy who had come out of a hardscrabble life. He’d grown up in poverty, resisted pressure from his family to quit school early and get a job to help provide for the family, worked his way through college, and ended up graduating at the top of his class and getting job offers from top-notch companies…all without owing a dime in student loans or taking a single red cent in government funds. He is, to this day, extremely proud of his accomplishments. I can only hope that the spirit that drove him – the true American spirit of standing in the face of adversity – will be absorbed by my niece and nephew. Men like my brother and my friend are willing to do what needs to be done to make this world a better place. Nothing in our Constitution guarantees that the government will be there to make the experience of working toward success easier.
It gives us the freedom to stand on our own two feet.