Fathers Forget: Message to All Dads

15 06 2008

Happy Fathers’ Day! to all men out there. It does not matter if you are good dad, deadbeat father, or you don’t have kid(s) at all. The piece I am about to present applies to everyone. Since today is Fathers’ Day, I wouldn’t like men-bashing here today. Today is well-deserved for all loving fathers. Since I am a father of a beautiful daughter, I know what it takes to be parent. The main message here is: we all need to show humility and not to take our loved-ones for granted. I couldn’t think of a better way to express this message other than referred to Dale Carnegie’s classic book, “How to win Friends and Influence People.” A book I discerned three years ago. Among many timeless hints and references in the book, an essay by Livingston Larned entitled “Father Forgets” is a must-read for every father or aspiring parents. So inspiring is the essay content that I actually recommended it to my friends. Here is how it goes:

*******

Father Forgets
W. Livingston Larned

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lies 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 tightened 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.
********

I hope you all enjoy the Fathers’ Day. I can’t wait to go out with my daughter.

Did you ever wonder about the origin of Father’s Day? Read This >>

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7 responses

15 06 2008
SisGal

Oh what a sweet message. Happy Fathers day to you. How old is your littel girl? if you don’t mind

15 06 2008
Mak Ossa

Thanks SisGal. She’s 7 and happy fathers day to you too

15 06 2008
CarolNJ

That is a very motivational essay. I just emailed it to my inlaws. They like it….happy fathers day everyone

16 06 2008
Adias Shoes Sale

I found lots of intresting things here. Thanks!

17 06 2008
Ferrari

Yeah ! there are some good scoops on this blog. I landed on this site looking for Alicia Keys. Got some good pieces, man. Unlike some sucker blogs which just relay news, you live up to your word “dissect” and analysis. Although, I think you’re hard on the piece you did on Alicia key, I like the fact that you took time to write full articles of your thought rather than reapeating buzz with no take……………well done.

2 10 2011
boopathi

This story, it’s not just the collection of WORDS, it’s COLLECTION OF FEELING…..WOW………….! WONDERFUL………………………….!

22 12 2013
Chris Harris

Thank you for this.

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