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Trying to Keep Kids Safe from the World's Hardships

Protecting children only gets harder by the day.

Does anyone remember the TV movie "The Boy in the Bubble" starring John Travolta? Although it’s based on the tragic story of David Vetter and his rare immune deficiency disease, I am seriously considering the possibility of putting my girls in a giant bubble.

It will be the pimped out version of the old movie bubble: TV monitors that play children’s programing 24/7. State of the art sound system with all the old and new school toddler tunes. I’d hire Jonathan Adler do give it a Disney sensibility.

Naturally, my wife and I can enter the bubble at any time to give them lots of hugs and kisses so I really don’t see the harm in doing this.

Here’s my reasoning. At three years old, their smiles make the sun look dim. Their giggles and voices make Pachelbel Canon in D sound like the screeching brakes of a runaway train. Their eyes shine with innocence, purity and a sense of wonder at every moment of every day. I don’t want that to end.

They have yet to learn the meaning of: cancer, evil, war, genocide, terrorist, pedophile, rape, racism, anti-Semitism or Republican. They don’t know of death or the fact that mommy and daddy won’t be here forever. They haven’t experienced a broken heart, betrayal or loss. They don’t know failure or grief. They don’t comprehend the dangers that are all around. Drowning in a pool, choking on a pit, car accidents, head injury, disease.

I want to protect them from all of that. I want them to stay three years old…stay in a bubble and be happy forever. I want to keep them out of harm’s way and keep the harm in the world away from their consciousness. I want to keep them innocent.

For the past three months, Patch has been gracious enough to publish my weekly humor column. I’ve written each article like I was whistling through a graveyard. Laugh at what I fear. Smile at what I don’t want to think about.

As my final installment, I am not exactly leaving you all laughing (especially the Republicans I upset … it was a joke!) I am telling you who I am. I’m happy to be a 52-year-old father of perfect twin 3-year-old girls.

They are incredibly funny, sweet, bright, imaginative, loving, kind, considerate and adorable beyond description. I’m a 52-year-old father who is petrified of watching the gleam in their eyes fade as they slowly discover the world isn’t perfect and life isn’t easy.

I wish each came with a guarantee for a long, healthy, happy and productive life. But instead, I know I have to be like a coach on the sidelines of the losing team. I have to let them fall and stumble and bleed and cry and feel pain and hurt and just hope that I can help them get back up to play the next game with all they have inside. What they don’t know … is even in defeat … I will love them all the more.

And I wonder why I’m not invited to more parties.

(Editor's Note: This will be Randy Levin's last column. We thank him for his contributions and wish him well.)

Barry H. Kaplan June 26, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Touching, Randy. I remember vividly feeling just that way........42 and again 35 years ago when my kids were adorable, innocent three-year olds. Truth be told, I still want to protect them from life's hurts. Maybe that's what being a parent is all about. Enough philosophizing, best of luck in all your endeavors. Barry Kaplan
Todd Steinberg June 26, 2011 at 03:47 PM
continued success to you
Randy Levin June 26, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Thanks but considering I only have two comments in the same time frame I used to have 20....it's probably a good thing I stop before I go from obscurity to oblivion.
Julie Johnson June 27, 2011 at 12:59 AM
Wanting to protect your children is the hardest part of parenting. It causes the most tears and heartache. You second -guess yourself when the hurt comes. You pray that each hurt & disappointment brings strength. Lead by example and your girls will take the bad with the good and hopefully have a positive outlook. If all else fails, the pharmaceutical industry continues to develop great mind-altering drugs! Your humor and truth with be missed! Good luck in your next venture!!
Laura Silverberg June 27, 2011 at 01:01 PM
Sorry to hear of this being your last article. I have enjoyed each one. This last article appears to be your maturity as a parent. You are correct, you do the best you can and hope for the best. I am sure your family will benefit from you and your wife's efforts to keep your girls safe and happy. Good Luck. Hope to see more in the future. Laura Silverberg
Ralph Horowitz June 27, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Great following all your articles. Can't wait for the book! Good Luck.
Liz Berger June 28, 2011 at 02:37 AM
I too am a 52 year old parent who's youngest graduated high school yesterday! Guess what...I am already worrying about the next step, college and all that goes with that...My father-in-law also was buried today after a full life of 81 years. He was a wonderful Father and I can only hope that we get that many more years of riding the Parenthood train with all its ups & downs. Will miss you and all life's best to you and your family xoxo
Randy Levin June 29, 2011 at 01:46 AM
THANK YOU SO MUCH. THAT WAS EXTREMELY NICE OF YOU. Congrats on your HS grad....and sorry about your loss. 81 years is amazing. It's funny though....52 with a HS grad....I don't even want to think about how old I'll be (if I make it) before my girls graduate. Late 60's???????? OMG Feel free to stay in touch. If my novel gets published (by a miracle of God....I will let you know) I am performing July 16th at the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport and Mohegan Sun July 29 & 30
Charlie June 29, 2011 at 11:31 AM
Ha...I'll bet that is the first time a stand-up comic used "Canon in the Key of D" in their routine! It is a shame to see you go sir. You articles were insightful, full of caffeinated angst and they were a pleasure to read. Don't worry about the number of comments in your section... remember it is the quality in life not the quantity. From one middle aged to another, I wish you continued success with your book and all of your future endeavors as well. All the best to you and you family Randy.

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