Does it ever get any easier?

Published 4:54 am Wednesday, March 2, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
I did most of my growing-up on a farm on Lookout Mountain in the northern part of the state.
I went to a little Baptist church there called Black Creek.
That community had its problems, but it was also the best place I ever lived until I moved to Atmore. Everyone was accepting, open, and warm. When you talked to anyone for the first time you knew you would get an invite to dinner or at least an invite to their church.
Except for the difference in geographical features, Atmore reminds me a lot of the mountain and the people of West Escambia are a lot like the ones of Etowah.
I'm recently married and already we have decided Atmore might be a good place to raise children.
There's a part of me that can't wait to be a father, so I can spend time playing with my children and teaching them the things my father taught me.
There's another part of me that wonders how I can spend time with children when I have such a hard time juggling the responsibilities I already have.
There's a part of me that wants to see children playing in the front yard and there's another part that fears them being kidnapped by a roving sociopath. Not that I think there are any in this area. It's just a worry.
Each generation is forced to grow up faster than the one ahead of it in a lot of ways.
Children have always understood violence better than we gave them credit for.
At certain points in Euro-American history, children younger than 12 had first hand experience with combat. Middle Eastern children experience such violence from birth even now.
But then, we see where that has led them.
I like Atmore. I think I could be happy the rest of my life in this city.
The government in Atmore seems to get along. Just about everyone else does as well.
But as I get older I get more worried about whether any place is safe to raise a child.
Just because a small town seems safe doesn't mean you can feel at ease about bringing a life into the world.
It was a small, safe, town that John Wayne Gacey roamed looking for boys to murder in the late 70s.
Part of me thinks the world gets scarier each year as I get older. Another part of me thinks that the world hasn't changed and neither have people in general, but I have.
Books from the 1890s through just after the turn of the century describe similar events to those going on now.
They describe pretty much the same views on oppression, war, turmoil in the Middle East, politics, global policy and morality that are now in the news every day.
Sadly, knowing things have always been messed up does little to make me feel better.
I guess I just worry too much
Lee Weyhrich is the Managing Editor of the Atmore Advance.

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