Growing up, it never occurred to me to wonder if my dad ever struggled to be a good father. It never crossed my mind that the big old farmer with the massive forearms and faded, striped overalls ever might have had his doubts about the way he was raising the three boys and two girls he and his bride brought into the world.
I like to say mothers have much better instincts about problems with their children than fathers do, but maybe it’s just Nancy and me with our kids. I start thinking along those lines every year toward late January. That’s when our youngest child was born in 1978, and he had to fight his way into this world. We have three children. The older two were born at McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Sunday is the anniversary of the massacre at Wounded Knee. At least 150 Lakota children, women and men and probably many more died under the guns of the 7th Cavalry in that bloody incident on Dec. 29, 1890. Think of that. South Dakota had been a state for more than a year. We weren’t just some untamed territory. We were a state. I’ve written before that I learned much of what I know about Wounded Knee after I finished college and began reporting for The Associated Press.