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Raising a child is not an easy task, and sometimes parents become hopeless. Sometimes we don’t know how to channel all of our efforts into strengthening them, motivating them, or simply being there for them.
Sometimes, we find that we’re too tired; maybe raising a child is harder than they say, and our personal circumstances don’t help anything.
But remember that since they were born, your child has come into the world eager for affection from you and experiences with you.
“Children give us an intensive course on how to love someone more than ourselves, how to fix our worst flaws to be the best example we can be for them and learn to have courage.”
You already know that life is complicated, and counting on their unconditional love helps you to walk strong. So tell them that, through kisses, words, or looks – whatever gets the message across. Maybe today you both need a little encouragement, which is why we dedicate the following text to all the fathers and mothers who care for their children. They are your treasure, and for the rest of us, they are our future.
“A Father Forgets”
“Listen, son, as I tell you while you sleep, your little hand tucked under your cheek, your blonde curls stuck to your face.
I have come into your room alone. A few minutes ago, while I read the paper in the library, I felt a wave of remorse that drowned me. Guilty, I came to your bedside…
This is what I was thinking about, son: I was angry with you.
I scolded you because you didn’t wipe your shoes. I yelled at you because you dropped something on the floor.
I scolded you during breakfast as well. You knocked things over. You didn’t swallow your food carefully. You put your elbows on the table. You put too much butter on your bread.
And when you left to go play and I was about to leave for the train, you came back and waved and said: “Bye, Daddy!” and I frowned and responded: “Keep your shoulders back!”
When afternoon fell, it happened again. As I neared the house, I saw you on your knees, playing in the street. You had holes in your socks. I humiliated you in front of your friends by making you come home with me.
Socks are expensive, and if you had to buy them yourself, you’d be more careful. Think, child, when a parent says that.
Remember later, when I was reading in the library and you came in timidly, with a persecuted look on your face? When I looked up from the newspaper, impatient over the interruption, you hesitated in the doorway.
“What do you want now?” I said sharply.
“Nothing,” you responded, but you ran at me and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your little arms tightened around me with an affection that God created in your heart and that can’t be missed by others.
And then you ran to bed, with short little noisy steps up the staircase.
Okay, son: it was a little later when I dropped the newspaper from my hands and a terrible fear came over me. What kind of habit was I getting into?
The habit of finding faults, of reprimanding; this is how I rewarded you for being a kid. It wasn’t that I didn’t love you; it was that I expected too much of you. And I measured you against the ruler of my older years.
And there’s so much that is good and beautiful and right in your character. That little heart of yours is big like the sun that rises over the hills.
You demonstrated that with your spontaneous impulse to run and kiss me tonight. Nothing but that mattered tonight, my child. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I’ve kneeled before you, full of embarrassment.
This is a poor explanation; I know that you wouldn’t understand these things if I said them when you were awake.
But tomorrow I will be a true father. I will be your friend, and I will suffer when you suffer, and I will laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when it’s about to say impatient words. I will not do more than tell myself, as if it were a ritual, “He’s no more than a child, a small child.”
I’m afraid of imagining you as a man.
But seeing you now, son, curled up and asleep in bed, I see that you’re still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, with your head on her shoulder.
I have asked for too much, too much…”