What I learned from this weekend

The goal is for every Monday to pass 3 things I learned over the weekend.  I believe that if you don’t learn something new each day, then you have wasted your day.  Over the weekend, we tend to relax and let our minds calm down instead of continuing to grind.  Just because everyone else is relaxing, doesn’t mean you have to relax.  This is the time to get ahead.

For this post, instead of giving three things I learned over the weekend, I want to provide just one.  The reason it is just one is because I found it to be so profound, that I have read it multiple times and shared it with my wife.  It’s a passage from a book that I am reading How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  The book references a passage that has been placed in Reader’s Digest multiple times.  It’s called Father Forgets by W. Livingston Larned.  It goes like this:

Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumbled 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 thin 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.  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 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 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.

 

Having two kids, this passage hits home.  I think about the times I lose my patience with her and treat her as if she is a bigger child.  She is a very fast learner and acts above her age, but it’s important to let her have a childhood and to fully appreciate each and every day.  She will be impatient, she will make messes and she will give attitude, but for her own sake, it’s important to not lose patience or to give attitude in return.

What does this story mean to you?  What did you learn this weekend?  What’s your excuse?

Comment below and please share.  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.


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