Being an ideal father

Being an ideal father or for that reason mother is not an easy task. We are just humans with our own needs, shortcomings and challenges. Let us take a moment to tell our children that we love them, give them that safe place and ease their existence with a kind word, hug or with encouragement. Here is a wonderful poem to remind us of that:

Father forgets

FATHER FORGETS

W. Livingston Larned

condensed as in “Readers Digest”

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little

paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily

wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone.

Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the

library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily

I came to your bedside.

There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross

to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because

you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to

task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when

you threw some of your things on the floor.

At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You

gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You

spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off

to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand

and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in

reply, “Hold your shoulders back!”

Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came

up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles.

There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before

your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house.

Stockings were expensive-and if you had to buy them you would

be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father!

Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how

you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes?

When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption,

you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped.

You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge,

and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your

small arms tightended with an affection that God had set

blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither.

And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs.

Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped

from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What

has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of

reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It

was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too

much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own

years.

And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your

character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn

itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous

impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters

tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and

I have knelt there, ashamed!

It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these

things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But

tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer

when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my

tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it

were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy-a little boy!”

I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you

now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are

still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your

head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.


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