. . .that critical thinking was still taught in middle school and high school. I am at the tail end of my Associates degree in Psychology. I know pretty much nothing, all I have are a whole lot of theories that have nothing to do with gun control and everything to do with mental illness and the quality of mental health care in this country. And my theories? Oh they are amateur, but they have potential. I am going to school to learn how to make that potential grow into a career where I might be able to make a more concrete difference. Also, I have never once talked about how I feel concerning the Affordable Care Act, and I am barely going to touch it right now. If it makes mental health care more accessible and affordable for the families who are struggling, then I stand behind it 100% with absolutely no wiggle room.
We all know with certainty what the problem in this country is, and we all know how to fix it. Shenanigans! No, we don’t. That’s the fucking point. How do we figure out how to fix something that we don’t know how to fix? We start trying a bunch of different things, and as we try them we see what works and what doesn’t, and as we move on we tweak and fine tune the things we are doing to take advantage of their strengths and address or minimize their weaknesses.
I wish people would stop talking in absolutes. It gets us all a big fat fucking helping of NOTHING. There are a plethora of factors contributing to why Adam Lanza chose to do what he did, and I used his name on purpose because he was a human being who deserved help, but our society doesn’t consider it important enough. Mental illness is a factor, guns are a factor, violence and desensitization are a factor, there are factors none of us may ever know about. We can’t make change until we begin to take the defensive blinders off of our heads. This is a situation that has a solution that can be reached by compromise and discussion. It won’t be a cure all, nothing is a fucking cure all, so we cannot expect it from this. Everyone needs to prioritize this shit. Godddamn it.
Last week it snowed and Alice and Eli wanted to go sledding, so I helped Alice climb into the rafters to get the sleds. While she was up there she found a packet of paper with 7 pages stapled together, with the heading, “Our Three Children.” It seems appropriate to transcribe it here, to read the memories one mother had of her children who grew up in the 30’s.
We were married a year and a week when on February 13, 1930 Donald Roy Heuton was born-8lbs. 9 oz. of live wire. he was a happy, healthy, lively child. We bought him a little walker to sit in when he was about 8 months old. He could sure race that thing through the house. My dad was so proud of him. He was dad’s first grandchild and at last a boy, pretty special after his 5 girls.
I could tell many more stories of Don’s early years. He learned rapidly and had mush energy. At 10 months, he broke his collarbone by falling out of his crib. We purchased a larger, higher-sided one after that. Having his arm taped to his body to heal didn’t hinder his wild rides to the kitchen through the other rooms downstairs. Don was a happy baby.
He learned rapidly to talk, especially the naughty words our hired man used. At about three years I told him, “You’ll never be a little angel in and go to heaven and have wings.” Don’s answer was, “I don’t want to be a damn old birdie, I want to stay here and talk to Jackie.”
One time, on a school day, he ran with his lunch pail and plowed into the gate of our fence and his lunch flew far and wide. Roy’s dad said Don was like a blind bull he had so much energy.
I remember after I churned butter and wasn’t watching, he would climb up on the table with a spoon and help himself to the fresh butter. he ate anything. We never had a food problem with him. Our children were all very healthy.
When he was still very young, he climbed up the windmill. Roy had to go up there and get him down. Then it was time to remove the ladder attached to the windmill.
When he was 3 or so, we let him out to play in the fenced-in yard. He climbed over the fence, which also had barbed wire across the top. With a little stick he was hitting the horses tied to the hitching post outside the fence. How God protected him. He surely had a guardian angel.
in 1935, our car was hit by a train on Carroll’s Main St. crossing. Those days, there were no signals and the flagman had gone home. The train was late and unexpected and it was snowing hard. Thank God we were thrown out of the car by the impact and were only slightly hurt. All but Don. He stood by the demolished car and said, “Daddy, we got to get a new car.”
I could go on and on, but I had better tell of later years. Don attended our country school. He was a good student and well liked. I remember his first Christmas program at school. His first speaking verse was, “I’m not very big but I guess I can say Merry Christmas he same as the rest.”
Years slipped by. We didn’t have a modern home, and of course there were chores for all and each helped much. Don learned how to make custards, bread pudding, etc. Once while I was out in the summer kitchen washing, he made bread pudding and put in green food coloring.
He had many friends who loved to come out to the farm. We had three different ponies, at different times of course, for the kids to ride. Don attended high school in Carroll. Often his friends would come out to shoot squirrels with him in our grove. Once he and a friend shot a hole through our kitchen wall.
Don was never girl-cray. He was more of the outdoor type. Our children got along with each other very well most of the time. We were a well adjusted family and had very few discipline problems. I’m sure he will fill you in on his high school youth and manhood. I’ll never forget the day he left for Lincoln, NE to enter college. As he drove away in our old Chrysler, I broke down. One of our little ones had grown up and life was changing.