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For Parents’ Day, kids ask their folks good questions

Luca Martinez, 10, center, with mother Michelle and

Luca Martinez, 10, center, with mother Michelle and father Lucio Alberto, at their home on Shelter Island. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Raising human beings is a noble and difficult task.

Sleepless nights don’t end when infants rest through the night. Letting go can be a difficult concept to grasp as toddlers become youngsters who become adolescents who become adults. Parents may wonder when their middle name became “worry.”

There is no payment for a lifelong job that many a parent has said they wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world. The rewards outweigh the sacrifices.

Erin Schule, of Wading River, was a full-time nurse who stopped working when her youngest daughter was born five years ago. She left the 12-hour hospital shifts behind for round-the-clock work at home.

“There are thousands of moving parts — sports, homework, doctor’s appointments — from the second you open your eyes in the morning until the second you close your eyes at night,” she said of parenthood.

If you let Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June slip off your radar, rejoice — you can celebrate Parents’ Day, which is today, July 24.

The occasion is celebrated on the U.S. calendar on the fourth Sunday of every July. It is the result of a congressional resolution signed into law in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton for “recognizing, uplifting and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”

Newsday wanted to know what children, from 7 to 62, think of the job their mothers and fathers are doing, or have done, raising them. So they asked (including a trio of identical questions from Newsday), and their parents answered. Listen to the conversations and reflect on the responses — spoken in the universal language of parenthood.

— Tracy M. Brown, LI Life editor

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