Quotations on Fathering and Grandfathering
page V

All sons, like all daughters, are prodigals if they're smart. Assuming the Old Man doesn't run out on them first, they will run out on him if they are to survive, and if he's smart he won't put up too much of a fuss. A wise father sees all this coming, and maybe that's why he keeps his distance from the start. He must survive too. Whether they ever find their way home again, none can say for sure, but it's the risk he must take if they're ever to find their way at all. In the meantime, the world tends to have a soft spot in its heart for lost children. Lost fathers have to fend for themselves.

Even as the father lays down the law, he knows that someday his children will break it as they need to break it if ever they're to find something better than law to replace it. Until and unless that happens, there's no telling the scrapes they will get into trying to lose him and find themselves. Terrible blnders will be made—dissapointments and failures, hurts and losses of every kind. And they'll keep making them even after they've found themselves too, of course, because growing up is a process that goes on and on. And every hard knock they ever get, knocks the father even harder still, if that's possible, and if and when they finally come through more or less in one piece at the end, there's maybe no rejoicing greater than his in all creation

Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark


A boy is a magical creature you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can't lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can't get him out of your mind. Might as well give up he is your captor, your jailer, your boss and your master a freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only the shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with two magic words Hi, Dad!

Alan Marshall Beck (b, 1942), American writer


My son is 7 years old. I am 54. It has taken me a great many years to reach that age. I am more respected in the community, I am stronger, I am more intelligent and I think I am better than he is. I don't want to be a pal, I want to be a father.

Clifton Paul Fadiman (b. 1904), American writer


For thousands of years, father and son have stretched wistful hands across the canyon of time, each eager to help the other to his side, but neither quite able to desert the loyalties of his contemporaries. The relationship is always changing and hence always fragile; nothing endures except the sense of difference.

Alan Valentine


There are very good reasons for Dad to be there. They do not mother for one thing. They bring a different perspective of the world. They are different physical human beings. They tend to discipline a little differently. They tend to play a little more, they rough house, they tease, they help you deal with your frustrations, they don't always gratify your needs in the way you want,   and yet this can help you feel that you're going to be OK when you're apart from your Mommy.

Kyle Pruett, MD


I love the land of winding waters more then all the rest of the world. A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal.

Chief Joseph (1840-1904), Nez Pierce Chief


What harsh judges fathers are to all young men!

Terence, 180 BC


Our land is everything to us... I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember that our grandfathers paid for it - with their lives.

John Wooden Legs, Cheyenne


The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart.



If the relationship of father to son could really be reduced to biology, the whole earth would blaze with the glory of fathers and sons.

James Baldwin


Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!

Lydia Maria Child


Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.

Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard


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