A friend who is not a parent and says he doesn't really know anything about being a parent wrote me this after flying home with a bunch of fussy infants on board. It's an important message as the school year begins and children become more visible in town.

"I just want to say to all parents that we need you now more than ever. We need you to witness to the rest of us exactly how to care for one another even when we are not in a good mood. We need you to show the rest of us how to give our lives away and to make it real. We need you to show us what real commitment looks like. We need you because our children, all of them, need to find the consolation, the shoulder, the heart, and the home in which to rest.

"The last thing we need today is another child who is not loved. We have children who are given away, sold for sex, bruised and battered, or who are starving. Really. We need ever-visible models of care, love and hope. We need people who can give their lives away, to lose themselves in love. We need parents who will stick with their kids when they are slobbering, throwing toys and fits on airplanes. We really need people who are going to stick with love and not think that love might come from other places. Loving is stepping toward peace."

Important words for all of us.

Ed Curtin

Corvallis (Sept. 3)

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