Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shocking, Yet Understandable

There's nothing like growing kids to emphasize the passage of time.
Children grow quickly and before we know it, they're towering over us. The other day, I had the pleasure of re-introducing my teenage son to Bill Hamzy.
Bill, the former basketball player, had to look up to say hello to my boy. He was shocked, and why not? He's known my son and daughter since they were babies.
When I met Bill, I was a newlywed without any children. Bill was a bachelor running for state office.
Now, after eight terms in office, he's leaving the state House to spend time with lovely wife Anita and their two children, nine-year-old Zachary and eight-year-old Gabriella. He sees precious time flying while he's toiling in Hartford and knows that he can't get it back.
After all this time covering him, I'd say I know Bill pretty well. We've had long conversations about all sorts of things, both related and unrelated to the news of the day. Sharing the joys and concerns of parenthood, we've spent a lot of time talking about our kids.
This I can tell you: Bill's an intelligent, decent, caring man who loves his family and works hard for his community. He's respectful of other points of view and is willing to listen to opposing ideas, especially when the opposing view is respectful as well.
He's also a pragmatist who knows how to work effectively in the minority party with the Democrats across the aisle.
But I can see how managing a sole practitioner law office, trying to provide for and raise a young family and serving as a state lawmaker all at once leaves little time for what is truly important. So while I was shocked at his decision not to seek another term, I completely understand. I'm not really sure why I didn't see it coming. I guess I got used to him being there.
He is a very good legislator and along with many others, I'll miss him. I suspect that years from now, we may well see Bill back on the ballot.
Bill's stated reason for choosing not to run again may be an overused cliche, but in his case it is real and true. There's no scandal in Bill Hamzy's decision to leave the state House, only honor.
Enjoy those babies, Bill. Before long, you'll be looking up to them, too.

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