We Raised You Better Than That
18, when as he put it, “everything has been pretty easy.” As soon as the Braves wrote that first check, he spent it on a Corvette. He considers that the first of many mistakes. As confident as he was on the baseball field, he was insecure in his personal life, and used his newfound fortune on worldly pleasures.
Today Chipper tells his younger self, “Success won’t always come easy, and sometimes your drive to be the best is going to push you right up to the edge of complete disaster.” He admits to getting married too early, then not being able to cope with financial problems. Yes, a big-league ballplayer, making six figures in his early twenties, finds himself with an empty refrigerator and no money in his bank account. He admits to giving in to the temptations of “the lifestyle of a big-time athlete.”
While 50,000 fans were cheering his every move at Turner Field, “I had already ruined one marriage, helped to ruin a second, had four kids, and was two divorces in.” Occasionally, his mistakes were magnified in newspaper headlines. His extramarital relationship with a Hooter’s waitress was leaked to the media, and fans of opposing teams would heckle him relentlessly.
Yes, he’s Chipper Jones, the idol of young tomahawk-chopping baseball fans. But he also has a mother and father who hear the rumors and read the sensational headlines. As Chipper writes, “To see the disappointment in the eyes of the people who love you is rough.” He eventually confessed all to his parents. He told them about “the infidelities and mistakes, and the lies stacked on top of lies.” It was the toughest conversation he ever had.
He was unable to talk to his parents in person about it.
But even though Bush was in political trouble, Nancy Pelosi, who stood to become speaker if Democrats won, was wary of making the 2006 midterms a referendum on impeachment. Knowing that voters want to vote for something more positive than punishing a president, Pelosi flatly declared before the election that if Democrats prevailed, impeachment would be “off the table.” As it turned out, she won big, became speaker, and impeachment stayed off the table.
Now, Democrats have a new class of impeachment enthusiasts who want to go after Trump as soon as possible. And Pelosi, who likely would again become speaker if Democrats take the House in 2018, is again counseling caution.
Whatever the case, the bottom line next year is 218 votes. If Democrats have them, the president’s life becomes much, much more difficult and fraught with danger.
Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner. He called them on the phone, with each listening in. He told them everything, with no sugar-coating. “I owed them that,” he said.
His father was speechless. His mother paused and said the six words he would remember for the rest of his life. “We raised you better than that.”
After “tearing into him” for a few minutes, they assured him that despite everything, they still loved him, and he had their support. They told him that the mistakes we make eventually mold us into the person we become. They said that sometimes you make a bunch of mistakes before you get things straightened out.
Chipper would go on to make more mistakes, but he also made some good decisions, enabling him to become “the husband and father my family has always deserved.”
The fact that he is sharing his story, in hopes of preventing other kids from repeating his mistakes, proves his parents did a good job after all. They raised him better than that. For some of us, it just takes a little longer to realize it.
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of the new book “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” a collection of his best stories, available at ChattanoogaRadioTV.com, or by sending $23 to David Carroll Book, 605 Spring Valley Lane, Chattanooga, TN 37415. You may contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org