Between the Lines

Between the Lines By David Lias Sunday, we in the Lias family had plenty to celebrate.

It was Mother's Day, so we treated Cindy to brunch, and took her shopping.

While we were having fun together on Cindy's special day, I couldn't help but think that there weren't enough orchids in the world to make Sunday beautiful for Katherine Harris and Susan Klebold this year.

As mothers go, they are no different from the rest of

us parents.

When we take our newborn babies in our arms for the first time and kiss their tiny heads, we believe that we can make their lives perfect. The mother and newborn infant may no longer share the same body, but their souls are one.

I can remember when Sarah, our oldest, was born after Cindy labored for hours.

All I could do was stare in wonder as nurses tended to her, drying her, wrapping her in blankets as she protested her entry in a bright, cold world with that classic baby's cry that stretched her lungs to capacity.

Later, after Sarah quieted down, she seemed to have this look in her eyes � a look of reassurance.

It was if she knew she was small, frail, helpless and totally dependent on us but at the same time, she had an inner understanding that she was one of the world's eternal creatures.

It was a defining moment for me. I think at that time, I realized that we humans don't fall back on advanced intelligence for all of our actions.

There is no way a mother or father can logically choose to love (or not to love) their children as they arrive on this world.

Instincts, I'm convinced, have us pre-programmed to do all we can for these miraculous additions to our families.

We parents will not fail them, we say, and we believe this.

We imagine all the moments ahead when we will take them by the hand through a world that is a thrilling, wonderful and sometimes scary place. We will make them good people.

No kid of mine will ever be like that, we say.

And then in the days that follow, we begin to accept reality.

That beautiful baby will cry without reason and we won't be able to soothe her to sleep.

We always thought we would have infinite patience, but then we hear ourselves say, "No more. I can't read The Pokey Little Puppy one more time or I'll scream."

We always planned to teach her about art or music or nature, but she just never seemed interested.

Where did we go wrong?

And, speaking collectively, there were so many other things we as parents have discovered are beyond our control: illnesses, learning disabilities, accidents, psychological problems.

Who could imagine we'd have to face these things? Who could ever prepare for them?

The time would come when mothers would have to go to work to help save up for college expenses, and friends would say we were neglecting the children.

Or maybe mothers stayed home to be there every minute and friends claimed they were smothering their children, being overprotective.

Every mother (and father) alive asks: Have I done enough, too much, the right thing?

And everytime something goes wrong, whether it's a

broken arm or a C on a report card, we blame ourselves. It must be our fault. If only we were better mothers and fathers. If only ?

Then, just when we think we'll worry ourselves crazy, there are those joyous moments when everything seems right.

We have to stand on tiptoes to hug that baby we kissed on the head so many years ago. Man, how the time flies. We thought it would be so different.

We thought we could keep them safe, make them strong, smart, perfect. We really believed we could.

We did our best. It was never enough.

Katherine Harris and Susan Klebold are just like us.

They love the same. They grieve the same. They hurt

just like we hurt.

Of all the inhuman things their sons did on April 20,

the cruelest was what they did to their parents.

They are left to spend the rest of their lives trying to apologize, to understand what went wrong, what they could have done.

Trying to face a world that vilifies them.

Trying to stop the memories when they know they'll

never go away.

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