Saturday, December 05, 2009

The following advice is from the book "Our Home" written in 1899 by Charles E. Sargent, M.A. I think its still pretty good advice for our modern times.

Home as a natural institution has for its primary object the nurturing of those tender buds of promise which can mature in no other soil. The human bud, unlike that of the flower, does not contain its future wholly wrapped up within itself, but depends much upon the hand that nurtures it. The rosebud, no matter in what soil it grows, no matter what care it receives, must blossom into a rose. No care or neglect, at least in any definite period of time, can transform it into a noxious week. But on every mother’s bosom there rests a bud of promise, and whether or not that promise shall be fulfilled depends on her. Whether that bud shall blossom into a pure and fragrant rose or into the flower of the deadly nightshade, is at the option of the guardian.

Let every mother act as if she held a bud of promise. Let those who have not felt the premonition attribute it to their insensibility. Better a thousand times bestow your tenderest care upon an idiot, better believe that you held the bud of genius and awake to bitter disappointment, than to learn in the end that you have failed to do your duty, and that a genius grand and awful like a fallen temple lies at your feet in the pitiful impotence of manifest but unused power.

The crying sin of modern parents is their unwillingness to let their children grow. They wish to transform them all at once from prattling infants into immortal geniuses. They have more faith in art than in Nature, in books and schoolrooms than in brooks and groves.

Painting by Elizabeth Nourse


Matt said...

Makes me grateful my kids have my wife. I know you love that ending "brooks and groves." lol

FCB said...

Yep, that was the line that stuck out to me the most. I'm sure both of your children have learned more with you surfing and snorkeling, not to forget fishing, as they would have ever learned sitting with even the most qualified teacher. Sometimes a child just sitting on their father's knee staring off into the sunset will enrich them like nothing else.
Love Dad