Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Take My Son By The Hand

Thirteen years ago when Engineering Guy was getting ready to enter kindergarten his teacher sent me this:  I guess it still says something that I still have it and that it still brings tears to my eyes as I get ready to send him off to university.

Take My Son By The Hand

My son starts school tomorrow.

It’s all going to be strand and new to him for awhile and I wish you would sort of treat him gently.

You see, up to now, he’s been king of the roost.

He’s been boss of the backyard.  I have always been around to repair his wounds, and I’ve always been handy to soothe his feelings.

But now.....things are going to be different.

This morning he is going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start on his great adventure that will include wars and tragedy and sorrow.

To live his life in the world he has to live in, will require faith and love and courage.

So, teacher, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand and teach him the things he will have to know.

Teach him... but gently - if you can.  He will have to learn, I know, that not all men are just, that not all men are true.

Teach him that for every scoundrel, there is a hero, that afor every crooked politician there is a dedicated leader.

Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick.

Teach him the wonders of books.  Give him his quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on a green hill.

Teach him that it is far more honourable to fail than to cheat.  Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the bandwagon.  Tech him to listen to all men, but to filter all he hears on a screen of truth and to take only the good that comes through.

Teach him to sell his brawn and brains to the highest bidder but never to put a price tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob, and to stand and fight if he thinks it’s right.

Teach him gently but don’t coddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.

This is a big order, teacher, but see what you can do.  He’s such a nice little fellow, my son.

Computer guy was lucky to have teachers who did teach these things.  He's such a fine young man - and I'll miss him.