Father Forgets

I came across in this short story in of the books that I’m reading.  It was originally printed in Reader’s Digest many years ago, I’m unsure on the exact date but it is one of the most popular reprints and it is easy to see why.

Father Forgets

by W. Livingston Larned

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 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 twoel. 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 you 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, form 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 your for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too muchof 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 yourcharacter. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself overthe 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 a 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 alugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing buy 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.


T is 365 Days Old

That pesky leap day got in the way, he has to wait one extra day to be 1 year old!  It has been a year of many firsts, for T and for us.  Caring for a child is unique experience and is usually a lot of fun.  Anything that isn’t fun is usually forgotten quickly.

He is already an avid football fan, we are ensuring that he cheers for the right team!Christmas in Altona 2008

Like any son, he has a keen interest in whatever his parents are doing.

Christmas at Home 2008

As an added bonus, we have a picture of me on my first birthday.

Lincoln at his First Birthday

More pictures can be found at Flickr and we will try to post more often this year.

A Quarterly Update

Tara and I both have blogs, but most of our online updates are at Flickr. I try to post new pictures once every other week.

For a quick summary, T is now over 10 months old, has 8 teeth (at least, he won’t let us look), crawls quickly, stands up holding onto things (like me), takes the occasional step, and has a great time throwing his toys around the kitchen.

And I how could I forget, In the Night Garden is like baby crack!

Another long overdue update

I finally got around to uploading pictures on Flickr.  I really should do it more often, T’s changing so fast!

The High Chair at Home 5

He has been eating “solid” (is milky rice really solid?) food occasionally and seems to be liking it.  Also, he has developed a hollow leg and keeps trying to fill it.

Today he has his six month check up (two weeks early).  We’ll find out how much he’s grown since the last time!