I have a glad and broken heart. Our little girl doesn't live here anymore -- she's off to school in Europe.
I remember being surprised, when Maddy was wee, how much she brought back memories of my own childhood. When we put her on a plane for London (with all her buddies, who were headed off to perform at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland), I suddenly remembered when my own parents dropped me off at college.
I was listening to the Mike Rosen show the other day, where I heard him horsewhip Denver City Librarian Rick Ashton for buying "graphic and violent comic books" -- a Spanish-language illustrated novel in the library.
Rosen seemed to imply several things. First, the REAL mission of a public library was to be "a repository of knowledge," and even to be "uplifting."
Second, by having a book featuring drawings of a violent murder and rape, the library was "pandering" to popular taste.
F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote: "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function."
For instance, I have two very strong and absolutely contrary notions about politics. I believe in individual freedom. The preservation of that freedom, it seems to me, is the only moral justification for the state.
On the other hand, I believe in community. There are times when people must curb their behavior in order to live together.
My daughter Maddy is 17, just entering her senior year of high school. This summer she said farewell to many of her friends. They're off to college.
Next year she will be, too.
Although my son is just starting 6th grade I'm starting to notice all those parents whose children are gone. Yet another life change looms on the horizon, and not only for the children.
But this makes me remember many wonderful things. It also makes me appreciate anew a vital aspect of the public library.