Up & Coming Weekly

January 01, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 5 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM JANUARY 2-8, 2019 UCW 5 Building children by MARGARET DICKSON OPINION e holidays have come and gone, and we are en- tering a new year with all its blank new days stretched out in front of us. I love the glitz and sparkle of the holidays, as well as the quiet moments of reflection that we somehow manage to work into our often-frantic schedules. Now that it is all over, I welcome the new year with its sense of freshness and renewal. Out with the dry tree and in with the paperwhite bulbs blooming on the kitchen counter. Among the joys for me this holiday season was meeting several new babies just weeks old — the sort my father called "teeny weenies." e new parents, thrilled and starry-eyed with both love and sleep deprivation, assured me they are getting the hang of 24/7 parenting. I, in turn, told them they have many adventures ahead with moments of great joy and moments of sheer terror. ey smiled the smile of the uninitiated, but I know they will come to understand. Also on my list of joys are the cards that come my way, bearing photographs of children with Santa, at play with siblings or just hanging out in their yards. e cards come, of course, not from the children but from the parents who love them so much they want to share them with family and friends not close enough to enjoy every moment with their precious little ones. I understand. I, too, sent those cards for many years and still have a complete collection of Dickson photo cards from Precious Jewel No. 1's first Christ- mas going forward to be joined by numbers 2 and 3 and into young adulthood. I would probably still be sending photo cards if the Precious Jewels were still willing to pose for them. Those of us who have been parents for decades know, and new parents will learn, that bringing up children is a process, a journey that never ends. Even when we parents are gone, we live in our chil- dren's memories, and our voices echo in their heads. Parenthood is not a series of highly sig- nificant and life-altering events, though those exist as well. is brings me to a 2010 News and Observer profile of nationally acclaimed Durham archi- tect Phil Freelon. In it, his wife, Nnenna, herself a Grammy award nominee, said this about her husband's role as the father of their three children. "I think he builds children. Not in the same way you build buildings, but you do build them. e time you spend, the things you model, the way you behave. Just the same way your part- ners, your employees watch you, your children watch you. And at some point, the walk be- comes more important than the talk." She has hit on the simple and profound truth about being a good parent. You cannot tell chil- dren what it means to become a good person. You must show them. Anyone who has ever been a parent or who has taken care of children knows this truth. Children, and especially adolescents, may seem lost in their own worlds that parents can barely fathom, but they are still sponges, taking in ev- erything that happens around them, absorbing and processing their parents' every word and action, for good or for ill. at does not mean, of course, that every word and action must be perfect — an impossible standard — but it does mean just what Nnenna Free- lon said, that "the walk becomes more important than the talk." My hope for 2019 for young parents beginning their journeys with their children is that you will live lives you hope your children will understand and admire, knowing that some days you will fail and some days you will be gratified to hear your own words and values repeated back to you, whether the children recognize that or not. I wish the entire Up & Coming Weekly family and all its readers a happy and healthy 2019. Bringing up children is a process, a journey that never ends. 700 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301 www.FloralArtsNC.com 910.822.0425 • Incredibly Fresh Flowers • Custom Silk Designs • Lovely Plants & Dish Gardens • Fabulous Showroom & Gi Shop • Conveniently Located Within Minutes of Fayetteville Hospitals & Funeral Homes • Balloons, Plush, Fruit Baskets Corporate Services: • Lobby & Office arrangements • Grand openings • Promotions Flowers Express What Words Cannot Celebrating 40 Years of Service The Pickin Coop Antique Mall Rogers & Breece Funeral Home Fayetteville Postal Credit Union Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6018 AK Mc Callum Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home Sullivans Highland Funeral Services Floral Arts Inc MARGARET DICKSON, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. (910) 484-6200.

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