"Listen, Son"

Discussion in 'Poetry and Words of Wisdom' started by davidterrell80, May 26, 2011.

  1. davidterrell80

    davidterrell80 Past Master Premium Member

    "Listen, Son"

    By Anonymous.

    This is a father's confession. I do not know the author, but it might have been most any father. It does not rhyme, it has no meter but the beating of the human heart. That makes it poetry. DGT

    I am saying this to you as you lie asleep, one little hand 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 was reading my paper in the library, a hot, stifling wave of remorse swept over me. I could not resist it. Guiltily I came to your bedside.

    These 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 I found you had thrown 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 little hand and called 'Good-bye, 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 hill road I spied you, down on your knees playing marbles. There were holes in your socks. I humiliated you before your friends by making you march ahead of me back to the house. Socks were expensive, and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! It was such stupid, silly logic.

    Do you remember, later when I was reading in the library, how you came in, softly, timidly, with a sort of hurt, hunted 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, again and again, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God has 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. Suddenly I saw myself as I really was, in all my horrible selfishness, and I felt sick at heart.

    What has habit been doing to me? The habit of complaining, of fault finding, of reprimanding . . . . all of these things were my rewards to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you: it was that I expected so much of youth. It was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years.

    And here was so much that was good, and fine and true in your character. You did not deserve my treatment of you, so. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. All 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, choking with emotions, and so ashamed!

    It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours, yet I must say what I am saying. I must burn sacrificial fires alone, here in your bedroom, and make free confession. And I have prayed God to strengthen me in my new resolve. Tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and 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.

    Dear boy; dear little son! A penitent kneels at your infant shrine, here in the moonlight. I kiss the little fingers and the damp forehead.

    So mote it be...
  2. Mlugo1247

    Mlugo1247 Premium Member

    I really enjoyed this as I am a father to a little boy whom I love dearly! As he is my first I know how pure and innocent he is.
  3. mrpesas

    mrpesas Registered User

    The same is true for me with a daughter. Just seeing her eyes get big with excitement when she sees me is the perfect way to fix a bad day.
  4. Jacob Johnson

    Jacob Johnson Registered User

    thanks for sharing this. I really enjoyed it.
  5. Bro. Brad Marrs

    Bro. Brad Marrs Premium Member

    I haven't read anything that had this much of an impact on me in a long time. Thanks for sharing brother!
  6. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    Awesome! As a father with two little boys, it made me think...
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011
  7. Rescue51

    Rescue51 Premium Member

    I have a 3 year old boy that means the world to me. I have felt like the father in this story many times. I also have to check myself and realize that he his just a boy. I love this story. I read it to him when I put him down for his nap. Thank you so much for posting this!

    Sent from my iPhone using Freemasonry
  8. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    I feel the same as you. My little one is also 3. I went into check on him the other night and saw him sleeping there and this story was the first thing that popped into my head.
  9. cog41

    cog41 Premium Member

    Cherish the moment. Seize them and ask God to help commit them to memory.
    For they'll grow up and be gone before ya know it.
  10. Brent Heilman

    Brent Heilman Premium Member

    So true Brother! My oldest son is 16 soon to be 17 and it only seems like yesterday he was born. Like Andy Rooney said, "Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes".
  11. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

    Best thing I have read in a long time. I have a 3 year old son too, and more times than not I forget he is just a little boy.
  12. CTx Mason

    CTx Mason Registered User

    My girls are grown and out of the house now, and this reminds me that perhaps I was too quick in correction, that I had expected too much too soon. But I do believe that the correction was more important than being a buddy, which would not make me a father but a peer.
  13. Mlugo1247

    Mlugo1247 Premium Member

    So Mote It Be

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