If there is one thing I’ve learned about fatherhood since the condition fell on me (like a piano out of a 4th-floor window) it’s that today’s fathers are perfect. Always. Yep. Every day. Sunup to sundown.
And because today’s fathers, and mothers too, are perfect, they should be given great honour.
I tell my kids this in subtle ways. For instance, I recently redecorated their bedrooms with wallpaper that says in floor-to-ceiling embossed print, “Honour your mother and father. (But especially your FATHER!)” Then I got them matching curtains.
I learned this sort of thing from my own father. He was perfect too. He learned from his father and his father learned from his father before him. Yes, all my forefathers were perfect and they were always honoured by all their children. As I’m sure yours always were.
It goes without saying, then, that none of us need to forgive our fathers for anything. Or our mothers. That’s right, Mom and Dad, even now, neither of you need forgiveness for nothing. Nada. Zilch.
You may have heard this expression, ‘Forgiveness costs, but not forgiving costs more.’ I, for one, can’t figure it out.
I’m guessing the saying has something to do with what Old Man Mandela once said, that to harbour hate is like drinking poison and then expecting it to kill your enemy. But I only find these expressions interesting in a sort of – ‘You don’t actually believe that, do you?’ – way.
I have a writing friend who disagrees. She says she has more to add, that we should talk about it. Her name is Leslie. She says her parents weren’t perfect. WERE NOT perfect. This is what I’m hearing now.
Hard to imagine: Parents who aren’t perfect. Parents who even hurt their children. I mean, really, Leslie, what in God’s good name is with THAT?! Parent’s hurting children? This pretty well ruins everything. I mean, look around, Leslie, it does ruin plenty, you have to admit.
And so, I for one, feel little desire to read Leslie’s new book. It’s just too big a load.
You say the book may well lighten my load? Thanks for that, Leslie.
In fairness to Leslie, though, if you want to learn more about this – about forgiving (and honouring) your father and mother (and, Leslie says, honouring yourself also) — then, well, you can find more here and here about Leslie’s new book that’s titled Forgiving our Fathers and Mothers, and you can more on author Leslie Leyland Fields here.
Today’s bonus, a question from the vault, is from Liz. It’s this: “Dad, what if you and Mommy got in a big fight? What would happen?” The answer is here.