Father Forgets by W. Livingston Larned

Good Morning dear readers, this is not today’s main piece, but just something I came across in a book that I was reading and I thought I’d share it with you guys. Doesn’t just apply to parents, but elder siblings as well.
Straight From The Heart

Father Forgets
W.Livingston Larned

I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumbled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your dump 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 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 you 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, “Good-bye Daddy!” and I frowned, and I 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 before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stocking Were Expensive -and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Image 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, inpatient 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 through you arms around my neck and kissed, 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 afterwords that my paper slept 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 way my reward for being a boy.
It wasn’t that I didn’t 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 it self 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 beside 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 bight 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!” 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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