Search the Carroll County community newspaper archives


>> Click here to search for stories published AFTER 2011

>> Use this search box to find stories published prior to 2011.
Note: All Words is a more strict search. Implied operator is "AND."
Ex: Charles Dickens"
From
subscriber services email print comment


With the upcoming Fatherhood Summit -- sponsored by the Marriage Resource Center of Carroll County and coming up Oct. 2 (call 410-386-9003 for details) -- a friend of mine asked me if I would take a break from my usual suspender stretching commentaries about politics and economics to talk about fatherhood.

I have one son. He has a high school diploma and a paying job.

By the standards of my trailer park upbringing, I should be up for some kind of parenting award.

Back in the day, my father was less concerned about me making a mark then about him leaving one. He whipped me so much he ended up with carpal spanking syndrome. (A slight exaggeration, Dad).

I know there's some faint-hearted person clucking right now, "Well, that explains Shoemaker. He's conservative because he was beaten as a child."

Actually, no. I'm conservative because it makes sense. I'm not in prison or living on welfare because my father knew that to smooth a block of rough stone; you need to swing a hammer.

As a boy, I was afraid of my father's wrath. He was like a great white shark with a cigar and a southern accent. Some days he'd just swim by. Other days, he would notice that I was flapping around like a wounded seal getting in some kind of trouble or another.

What I could not understand then, but know now, is that my respect-bordering-on-terror helped keep me on the straight-and-narrow path.

My father wasn't interested in being my buddy. He was interested in me growing into a man ... even if he had to kill me to do it.

I have been fortunate. My son is more like my wife than me. He's good natured, easy going, and well-behaved.

On any given day, his behavior is probably more mature than mine.

Heaven knows, I embarrass him on a regular basis. There haven't been many moments where I've even had to raise my voice, but on some fundamental level we have an understanding. I'm his father first.

I've tried to do a bit better than my father, who tried to do a bit better than his.

I also understand that times have changed. In my neighborhood, we thought Moonpies and RC Cola were a balanced and nutritious snack. A kid could sit on his dad's lap and "help steer" while the old man lit up another Camel or stogie.

While we learned some good things, we've forgotten some as well.

We have too many men willing to create a child and then walk away. We have too many fatherless adolescent boys running around like packs of hyenas, showing no respect for adults, women or themselves.

We have too many fathers who are reluctant to act like men.

And if that sounds sexist, well, it probably is ... but it's still true.

Raising children, good children, is an act of will. My dad taught me that a father's commitment to raise a good man has to be stronger than a son's commitment to be an idiot.

Like many of the best things in life, it isn't always easy and it isn't always pleasant. Being a good father, though, is always worth it.

If you don't believe me, ask my dad.

Haven N. Shoemaker Jr.

Hampstead

The author is the mayor of Hampstead.


user comments (0)


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Baltimore Sun: Baltimore breaking news, sports, business, entertainment, weather and traffic
xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Learn more about subscriptions
Learn more about subscriptions
Advertisement
Ravens coach John Harbaugh has always hired from within when choosing his next defensive coordinator, but he could also look to familiar faces outside the organization as he searches for Don "Wink" Martindale's replacement. Here are five potential candidates.
Club owners and workers on The Block are speaking out against a proposed 10 p.m. closing time for establishments in Baltimore's downtown adult entertainment district.
The incident occurred at Magruder High School in Rockville, Montgomery County.
Advertisement
The report released Thursday details how Arnold Jablon, a former Baltimore County permits director, helped a developer avoid paying an estimated millions in fees to build the Metro Centre at Owings Mills — possibly in return for access to basketball tickets and free parking.
Legal bills can be considered acceptable campaign expenses, but only through a narrow window of allowable circumstances under state law.
Overturning Roe v. Wade would likely create a domino effect of states banning or restricting abortion. While observers say Maryland is among the states that's most protective of abortion rights, it would feel ripple effects nonetheless.
Maryland warned Baltimore officials Friday that the state plans to take the city to court over polluting discharges from the Back River and Patapsco wastewater treatment plants that had been ongoing for a year before they came to light in August.
Advertisement
Advertisement
24/7 Tempo reviewed dozens of foods that are often considered unhealthy and found the ones with redeeming qualities, either due to their nutritional content or our updated understanding of dietary fats and cholesterol. For similar lists visit 24/7 Wall St. .
Using data from MLB’s Statcast tracking system and an online plotting of home runs since its introduction in 2015, The Baltimore Sun determined that at least 14% of the home runs hit at Camden Yards in those seven seasons would have stayed in play with the ballpark’s new layout.
Career paramedic and firefighter Robert A. “Bobby” Jones, died Thursday due to complications from COVID-19, according to the Reese and Community Volunteer Fire Company in Westminster.
Baltimore Police are investigating another homicide after a decomposing body was found inside a vacant home in Southwest Baltimore earlier this week.
Baltimore and Washington are two of 23 cities in the United States, Canada and Mexico seeking to become the first three-nation partnership to host a World Cup.
From Highlandtown to Harbor East to Lexington Market, the details of a delicious summer of new offerings are rising and bubbling up.
After a Westminster teen died from a gunshot wound sustained in a Dundalk home Monday, police are charging a man who they say failed to secure his gun — and wasn’t supposed to have firearms in the first place.
Advertisement

Free Fun & Games

  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Crossword
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Jumble Daily in color
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Solitaire
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Bubble Shooter HD
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    2020 Connect
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Cookie Crush
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Butterfly Kyodai
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Classic Mahjong
  • Picturing Maryland: A photo a day for 2021 part 3
    Daily Sudoku
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

The Baltimore Sun Store

Advertisement

GAMES & TRIVIA

Advertisement