Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Father Forgets

As I was reading Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, I stumbled accross this story:


W. Livingston Larned

condensed as in "Readers Digest"

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 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 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 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.

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 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 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 visualised 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, yet given too little of myself. Promise me, as I teach you to have the manners of a man, that you will remind me how to have the loving spirit of a child.
Reading it reminds me of my little Adam. I am guilty of the same things. I often raised my voice to get him out of the kitchen, scold him when he did not follow what I asked him to do, all when he's only a little boy. My little baby. He did not even understand a word I was saying. And after all that, he would still come and kiss my cheek.

Sorry Adam, mommy promise, mommy won't raise mommy's voice to you anymore. No matter how tired mommy is, or how hard mommmy's day was, it has nothing to do with you. When mommy is home with you, mommy has to be your mom and treat you like how a son need to be treated; with gentle and love. Lots and lots of love. Sorry sayang..


ninie.s. said...

kemme i think bapak dlm cerita tu mmg suke marah tak bertempat and the kind of father yang marah sesuka hati then later menyesal.

I think u are not that bad lah(unless ko mmg suke marah dadam sesuka hati).

It's ok to raise voice so that he knows it's wrong(kalau die buat salah la).

kalau die tak buat salah pun ko jerit, nnt aunty ninie die dtg ajar adam jerit balik kat mommy die..!hahhahahah!

Anonymous said...

Kalau dah letih2 balik kerja, sometimes terlepas jugak. Nak buat camana, kita kan manusia yg mudah lupa.

Tp lepas tu terus kiss2 si kecik tu. (dlm hati.. alahai kesian dia tak tahu apa2) Hehe..

mommy kam said...

i might not be that bad coz adam kecik lagi.. this would be a reminder to myself supaya jgn biasakan diri marah anak nanti for no apparent reason duk marah je.. jadik grumpy mommy nanti.. huhuhuhu..

memang kalau balik keje and banyak menda nak buat kat rumah adam datang kacau memang geram sangat.. tapi kesian la dia jadi mangsa keadaan.. huhuhuh..

daddy riki said...

cerita ni terbalik dengan real life. mommy is the one yg selalu scold adam for no reason.

mommy kam said...

mana ada for no reason.. ada reasonla!!!!

ninie.s. said...

hahahahahha..good cop bad cop.

annie said...

sokong daddy!!!! adam slalu majuk ngan mommy bile kene marah...jalan2, nampak mommy teringat kene marah die pun pusing gi tempat lain...sian adam...mesti rindu annie kan kan kan???

mommy kam said...

aghh seme sabotaj saye! adam sayang mommy dia.. jarang la mommy marah adam.. mommy slalu read story kat adam.. Adam saaaayang mommy.. Dia kata xmo geng annie sbb slalu buli dia.. ;p

annie said...

mane de....adam baru kol...kate nak lari dari rumah..nak gi malang...die siap pesan suh goreng tempe byk2 die nak datang nanti

syukri said...

nice one true ...
ps myra pun suka makan tempe

mommy kam said...

adam nak lari dari rumah nanny la tu dia kat trg.. nak balik shah alam.. adam x makan tempe dia suka japanese tofu :p

thanx syuk.. lamanye x jumpa myra.. sure mcm2 keletah dia skarang :)

annie said...

adam kol kate nanti smpai klia nak naikgi malang laa...tak pe indon pun byk japanese tofu..macam2 perisa lagi ade =)