The Duncan Banner

Opinion

January 9, 2013

Dad’s annual letter to his son

DUNCAN — Dear Grant,  I thought seriously about ending my annual year-end letter to you after our move to Duncan. I assumed our transition here and the fact you’re now 10 years old provided a natural stopping point.

And I figured, too, the exposure might embarrass you as a teen in training, that I might write something I shouldn’t or that I could expose a secret or two without even knowing.

Then, selfishly, I decided to forge on, to attempt one more time to remember with fondness our most recent 12 months and to keep alive a string of annual letters that  – including several written in anticipation of your birth — now totals 14.

Like the others, calendar year 2012 was a good one for us with more highs than lows and a smattering of milestones that will make the period memorable.

Duncan remains a happy home for us. Your circle of friends has grown in number and depth. You’re soundly entrenched as a Plato Pirate and, again, you’ve been blessed with a terrific teacher, a class and an iPad that challenges you. Having older brothers, Scott and Chris, who are Plato alums, only strengthens that bond.

We’re thrilled you love to learn and that math and reading remain particularly important and we enjoyed seeing you compete in the annual spelling bee.

It was a moment of fatherly pride, I must say, to see you put on a helmet and pads for the first time and it was fun to see the Pirates nearly win a youth football championship, knowing lessons of teamwork last forever.

Of course, there remains no doubt your team is Alabama. Your game-day intensity borders on anxiety out of control. While you support your friends who like the Sooners, Cowboys, Horned Frogs, Demons and Thunder, your elephant display and your prized collection of more than 100 items of Tide memorabilia makes your room more a shrine than a place of rest.

We didn’t make Bryant-Denny in 2012, but we saw Alabama spank Michigan in Dallas and our hopes are high for another BCS title tomorrow when we play Notre Dame. Roll Tide!

Our travels were limited some by issues with my eyesight, though we spent a delightful week in Denver, watched the Beach Boys at Red Rock, enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving lunch in Tuscaloosa and a delightful dinner in Mississippi, spent several nights in Oklahoma City, saw the Thunder play and visited family in D.C. and Natchez where your mom and you saw friends at the balloon festival.

A highlight was meeting Bennett, your new nephew and son of Scott and McKaye and playing with Aniston, their adorable daughter. Time with cousins Wyatt and Mason was also special. Visits with grandmom, granddad and Uncle Walter always seemed too short. And now that Chris has joined the Alabama athletic staff, we share your excitement about spending time with Shelley and him in my hometown.

But for whatever “going” you enjoy, coming home always seems even better. Though you’re the only youngster in the neighborhood, there is a deep comfort you feel at home whether it’s playing in the yard or enjoying an office that has become a boycave for computer research and television watching.

The hub for that at-home affection, of course, is a mom unlike anyone I’ve ever known. She’s a giver and a class act no matter what the subject. You’re lucky to be the target of those gifts and her love for you is both enviable and unconditional. That you recognize that impresses me. That you return it, impresses me more.

On a sad note, losing Oliver, our 12-year-old wirehaired Dachshund, was both surprising and painful. He had been by your side as a trusted pup and dog since your birth. He’ll not be replaced, but Jake, newly adopted from the humane society, has brought virtually endless energy to our house, spiritedly chasing Joey and giving new meaning to the role of a lap dog.

Chief among our memories will be Easter 2012. That’s when you joined our church and accepted Christ at a chilly but moving sunrise service led by your friend, Mr. Arnold. Few days, I assure you, will be more important.  I’m proud you memorized all the books of the Bible, that you have become active in church activities and that, thanks to brunches and Sunday school breakfasts, you’ve  added pigs-in-a-blanket and donuts to your list of gourmet foods that previously only included cheeseburgers, fries and CherryBerry.

The past 12 months have been full, quick and if not perfect, close. After all, we just had a white Christmas. I wish I could insert words of wisdom here, profound thoughts you’d remember forever. But all I can think of is “thanks.” Life remains good, largely because of you.

I love you,

Dad

edarling@duncanbanner.com; 580-255-5354, Ext. 130

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Governor, state Legislature have misplaced priorities

    If the Oklahoma State Legislators and our Governor spent less time interfering in women’s rights to manage their bodies, creating ways to lay more taxes and fees on the middle class in order to generate more tax breaks which benefit only the wealthy while also conceiving methods with which to fill Oklahoma’s for-profit prisons, they would be doing all of us a favor. Instead, why not work to enhance funding for our schools and wage increases for all school employees? While reforming the state’s educational budget, why don’t they approve wage increases for our Oklahoma State Troopers and enlarge their Academy to insure qualified individuals are ready to fill the upcoming vacancies as many of the older force retire?

    April 9, 2014

  • Self government key to keeping politicians in check

    Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that federal campaign laws that limit the total amount of money donors can give to political parties, committees and candidates for federal office (U.S. House, Senate, and President) was unconstitutional. The ruling will not increase the current $2,600 limit on how much a donor can give to a federal candidate in each primary and general election or the $32,400 limit that can go to a national party committee. Those limits are still in place.  The ruling will instead remove the limit on how many candidates/committees to which a donor can contribute.

    April 9, 2014

  • Legislative goals crucial to priorities in education

    I am a member of several professional organizations where I attend regular meetings, network with colleagues, and stay abreast and informed on education best practices.  The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration, better known as CCOSA, is a nonprofit organization that establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers, and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of schools. Attendance this time of year is especially critical because legislators are in session.

    March 28, 2014

  • An impressive ranking that could be better

    That Duncan was named one of the best 15 communities in Oklahoma by Movoto, a national Real Estate company, is news worth celebrating.
    Of 43 places with population of 10,000 or more, as determined by the U.S. Census data, Duncan finished 15th. Norman was first, Edmond second, Yukon and Moore tied for third and Bethany was fifth.

    March 9, 2014

  • Kids shouldn’t have to pay for having punster parents

    Friends and neighbors, I’ve been cloistered in my Thought Chamber for the past few days, contemplating many high-brow philosophies and haughty hypothesis that we who think on a different level use to exercise our finely-tuned minds and remain intellectually superior to the Great Unwashed.
    As you see, the time alone has been intellectually beneficial. I just composed an opening sentence (what we in the journalism dodge call a “lead”) that’s 46 words long.

    March 9, 2014

  • The blissful serenity of No-TV Land

    Life without TV is possible. Maybe you should try it. I did. It’s a do-able thing, I tell you. I’m still here, no worse the wear, no oozing wounds, no serious loss of brainwave activity except for the slow, inexorable downhill decline that already started when TV viewing was a daily occurrence.

    Granted, two months without the tube is quite likely not a scientifically acceptable sample from which is to hold forth. But it’s the best I can do, so deal with it.

    March 9, 2014

  • Cooper’s message is to remain active

    Dr. Kenneth Cooper, the Dallas physician who coined the phrase “aerobics” more than four decades ago, who has become a world leader in physical fitness and who has saved, literally, thousands of lives by promoting the value of an active lifestyle, shared his philosophy of life here last week.

    March 9, 2014

  • Time to take the “B” out of the “Three R’s”

    Our young folks are hitting the stretch drive toward the end of another school year, during which they’ve been taught “Three R’s”, which are not really “r’s” at all.
    In case you missed it, reading is the only one of the “Three R’s” that actually begins with the letter “r.” Writing starts with a “w” and arithmetic begins with the letter “a.” There are two reasons we drop the “w” from “writing” and the “a” from “arithmetic”: 1. For poetic flow in the age-old saying; and, 2. many people have a secret yen to talk like the Beverly Hillbillies.

    February 23, 2014

  • Thank you for lettin’ me be myself again

    Friends and neighbors, hope I don’t sound like the biggest egomaniac since Donald Trump, but you know, I am the most interesting person I’ve ever known.
    Forgive me if — on first blush — that sounds like the most totally self-aggrandizing statement you’ve ever heard. And if you’ve headed to the restroom to express an editorial opinion about the statement above, I’ll stop for a couple minutes.

    February 15, 2014

  • Buzz misfired in Vanity Fair body slam of Duncan

    As the new kid in town, I’m reluctant to leap atop the ramparts to defend the honor of Duncan, Okla., my new adopted hometown.
    But to heck with that. When an out-of-towner comes into your house and soils your rug, it’s on.
    I speak, of course, about the article in Vanity Fair magazine about Duncan and the  killing last year of Chris Lane, the Australian who was gunned down in August.

    January 24, 2014

Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video