Standing the Heat - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Standing the Heat


Wow. It is hot. I swam for a little while. Then off to lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel with my makeup artist, writing colleague, and dear friend, Renae. We talked about how and when being a parent in the U.S. middle class became torment. A parent is a chauffeur, body guard, tutor, mentor, butt of the child’s mockery and contempt.

What happened? When I was a lad in the 1950s, our parents could just let us out the door and we wandered all around Silver Spring all day. It was safe and it was fun. At 7 or 8 years old, we could take the D.C. transit bus to Georgetown, walk over the Key Bridge, and buy fireworks in Virginia.

Tommy got to do that in the early and mid 90s when we lived in Sandpoint. Again, it was fun and it was safe. I let him out of the house after breakfast. He came back for lunch and then I saw him and his pals for supper. I never worried about him at all.

Plus, when I was a child, we kids did our own homework. We didn’t have our parents sit with us to do it. Somehow we all knew history and civics and easy algebra. Even Latin. No one had to stand over us with a hickory stick telling us if we didn’t get all A’s we could not go to a decent college. We all knew it. We wanted to go to good colleges.

Now, parenting is slavery. Small wonder so few couples have children. It’s a pain in the butt and it’s expensive.

The Arabs don’t mind. They have five, six, seven, eight kids. How do they raise them? I have no idea. I just know this will be a majority Muslim country in my granddaughter’s lifetime. God help her.

Renae is my super-pleasant pal. But even she worries about this child-as-dictator world.

I drove away in my immense car and checked in on my wife. She’s still very ill with pneumonia and a dreadful anxiety. She’s really suffering. She has two nurses at all times but she prefers me. I lay with her to calm her and she drifted off to sleep.

Judah, my super-smart colleague, came over to discuss the latest scandals involving Kamala Harris and Ms. Elizabeth “Trotsky” Warren. There were also some scandals involving Bernie Sanders. Judah knew every detail, as he always does. But I was so worried about my wife that I could not listen. Instead, I got my hair cut by a talented hair stylist named Melissa. She does a great job.

Then home to check on Alex. She was in my bed, aching with body pain. She was miserable. Plus, she is pretty much deaf so it’s not easy to have a conversation with her. I lay down next to her for about 7 hours, just holding her hand. She was scared, she said. She had panic. This woman is the kindest human on the planet. A goddess. And she’s confused now. She’s still a saint, but she’s confused.

It dawns on me that I’m just not concerned about Bernie Sanders and bank fraud. I’m not that upset about Kamala Harris and “Trotsky” Warren libeling innocent people. They’ll get theirs.

I’m concerned about the goddess of my life, who has been unfailingly loyal and brave for 51 years. Someday I’ll tell you how she stuffed some outrageous allegations right down Gloria Allred’s throat — with a smile. And you know what? If what she does makes Gloria happy, God bless her. My wifey is the closest anyone has ever come to perfection. She’s suffering. We don’t know what to do. We’re terrified. She’s my goddess. Nothing else matters.

Ben Stein
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Ben Stein is a writer, actor, economist, and lawyer living in Beverly Hills and Malibu. He writes “Ben Stein’s Diary” for every issue of The American Spectator.
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