We Raised You Bet­ter Than That

Walker County Messenger - - News - David Car­roll News and Notes

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 3dc@epbfi.com

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