MURPHY'S LAW The student has become the master

By Patrick Murphy

Life comes full circle.

When my daughter, Claire, was a little girl she was my constant companion, especially when my wife was working and I had something to cover for the newspaper I was working for at the time.

I would put her in her baby carrier, pack bottles and diapers, along with my camera bag and notepad, and off we would go to whatever the assignment was.

From the time she was born until she was a little over 2 when we moved, and my job at a bigger paper required less footwork, Claire was by my side.

We took in community events, celebrations, county fairs, volleyball and basketball games, and wherever I went, she went. I took Claire everywhere except football games and meetings. Basically, there were a lot of take your daughter to work days.

It was easier when she could walk, and I didn’t have to bring formula and diapers with me, but we spent a lot of time together. Then when my son, Alek, was born, the three of us made the rounds.

I have to admit, I enjoyed showing off my kids to anyone who asked about them or stopped us to comment on them, and I still do.

Now, because of my toe surgery, when my wife is working, Claire was the one behind the wheel taking me to wherever duty calls.

She’s no longer the shy, little girl tagging along with Dad. She is a grown woman with her own business.   

Roles have been reversed — of sorts. 

Claire was with me until I get the doctor’s OK to drive again last week, but for a while, instead of tagging along with me, she was waiting in the car until I was done with what I needed to cover, or she came back to pick me up when I was done.

Here we are again some 30 years later. It’s not quite the same, but it’s not all that different either.

Instead of me making sure I had everything she needs and worrying about her, she has to pick me up, put my scooter in the car, drive me to an appointment, get my scooter out of the car and then do it all again.

I guess they call that the circle of life. As cliché as it is, it’s true. We start off taking care of our kids and end up being taken care of by them.

It actually started years ago when the Internet became part of our every day lives, and parents needed lessons from their children on how to navigate through a world in which everything is accessible on smart phones.

I’m no different. I am constantly asking my kids how to set up access to streaming services on our TVs or setting up boarding passes on my phone. That’ll never change. The student has become the master.

It’s been the best experience of my life watching Claire and Alek grow up and become the people they are, happy, successful and able to take care of Dad.  

Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor at The Telegram.