Rob Neukirch

Rob Neukirch
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Rob lives in Floyd, VA with his wife Michele and their two sons, Preston and Cooper.

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Salon.com
JANUARY 17, 2011 2:19PM

COOPER STAYS HOME FROM SCHOOL

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Both boys, Cooper and Preston, make fun of me because I "tear up" so easily during a video, say, or one of Barack Obama's speeches - especially this last one at the Memorial Service at U of A in Tuscon.  To say that our president captured exactly the right tone and sentiment is, hopefully, stating the obvious.

Over the weekend, after an AAU basketball tournament that began at 8 in the morning and lasted, for Cooper's team, until after six p.m., Cooper started sneezing and coughing.  Sunday evening he went to bed early and this morning there was no sense in sending him to school.  His older brother was envious of Cooper's ill-health.

We had a nice morning together.  I made a fire downstairs in the wood stove and he joined me for a while.  Then, around noon, we headed up so that I could make him some soup for lunch.  On the stairs he was telling me about a play from one of Saturday's games and he kept pausing and embellishing.  He's a good story teller.  I listened only slightly, spending more of my time taking in the physicalness of him, the youngest son who I can't really pick up anymore.  I stared at his smooth skin and his thick curls, the smiling mouth that amazingly articulate words were tumbling out of.

After the events of this past week, can we really find it in ourselves to value one another?  It is, one would think, easy to value a son though the daily paper is filled with evidence to the contrary.  Whatever our "history" - and there are those quick to point to how "mankind" has always been - can we truly see the size of this world and the importance of each and every being in it?  Can we stop categorizing?  Can we, really, stop thinking in terms of "us" and "them"?

I love my son.  Can I just as readily love yours?  

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