Beautiful poem – 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.
Guilty I came to your bedside.
There are the things I was thinking, son: I had beed cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressinf for school because you gave your face merely
a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I calles out angfily 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!”
Theb 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 carefil! Imagine that, son, from a father!
Do you remeber, later, when I was 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 nothinf, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw yours 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 beed doing to me?
The habit of finding, of reprimanding-this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was 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 ans kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedsite in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed!
It is feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these 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 buy – a little boy!”
I am afrais I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you know, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, you head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.”
Best poem I’ve ever read, wonderful story!
We cannot change the past but we can always change the future, even if we have done a lot mistakes in our lifes,
we can always try to be better parent, wife, husband or a friend.
It is never to late to change ourselves and start again.
It’s never to late to Love!