Joe Paterno, my son Christian, and living with the grey
November 10, 2011, 12:28 pm
Filed under: entertainment, love, Parenting, stress, Teenagers | Tags: , , ,

Jessie and I love country music. We had been looking forward to the CMA’s for quite a while. We reserved the TV from the boys and sports telling them we were not to be disturbed while watching. This was met with the usual grunts and snide remarks but they are smart enough to know you do not mess with mama if she wants to watch something. Isaac quietly disappeared into the study room, not to study of course but to lounge and play with his iPod. John was very content to read the long-awaited final book of the “Inheritance Series” which left Christian.

There was college basketball on and he watched until exactly 8:00pm when our award show began. I was hoping he too would leave and allow to watch but no such luck. The questions, comments and noises began. Really? Christian go away. “ No, mom, I will be quiet, I will only make good remarks, promise.” That lasted for one song and then he began again. CHRISTIAN! “what? I’m sorry am I annoying? I am just curious, I ask a lot of questions don’t I, okay, okay I will be quiet.” A commercial comes and he switches to Sports Center.

The news about Joe Paterno being fired flashes across the screen. Christian is beside himself, he can not imagine this being true. He wants to watch, I say no. He turns to me with his eyes so wide and confused and says “why mom? Why would they fire him after all these years. He did not abuse anyone.” Christian, we will talk about this later, after my show. I do not know any details I will be happy to talk to you about it later. He turns it back to the right channel and sits brooding on the couch next to me.

When I got up this morning and came down stairs Christian was at the counter having a bowl of cereal. “Mom”, he begins in a low morning growl. “If Coach Pat is bad, and they fired him, and he did not actually do anything, I mean he is only human, and he was a great coach and he helped so many people, who is good? I mean who can we look up to? Does one mistake make the whole person bad?” Oh man, give me my coffee and some good words to say to my son.

We did not have time to go into it this morning. His words are still haunting me as I write. I try to find some reasonable answers, some nugget of truth for us to hold onto. The news media is having a hay day, the college has been put in an awful position and one mans good life is being questioned to the point that the tarnish created might never rub off. My heart breaks for all involved. Terrible things happened, good people looked the other way, allowing one mans horrible violations to go on.

What do I tell my son? This beautiful boy who wants to look up to this amazing coach and find his role-models in the world of sports. This young man who wants to understand the world and figure out right from wrong. What do I tell him? Integrity is not for the weak, good people make mistakes, always speak for the underdog. If you see something wrong do everything you can to make it right. Forgive, live, love and keep asking questions. The world is not black and white, and sometimes you must live in the grey of someonelse’s decisions.


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