The following piece is about losing the closeness of a child, and practical means to restore it.
“Alas, -- and bitter is the loss, when the parents and the children,
Who, having loved all through their lives, have missed the outcome of friendship.
Perhaps, it grew from a careless life, for years go swiftly by;
Or perhaps, too much carefulness, that drank up all the streams of joy:
Perhaps, sullen disappointment came and quenched the fire;
Perhaps, sternness, or misrule, crushed or warped the feelings.
Then with ill-combined tempers, they failed to learn about each other;
The growing child grew out of love, and drew the breath of fear;
Or the youth, ill-trained, renounced his fears and made a covenant or league with cunning;
And so those hardened men became foes, which should have been chief friends.
Where was the cause, the mutual cause? O hunt it out to kill it:
And what is the cure, the simple cure? --- A mutual flash of love.
For dull estrangements’ daily began to freeze up those early sympathies
By cold continuance in apathy, or the cutting winds of blame;
It was a slow process, which at any fleeting hour could have been melted;
But every hour duly came, and passed without the sun.
Caution, care, and dry mistrust, obscured each other’s minds,’
Till both of those gardens which were rich to yield, became rank with many weeds:
And doubt, a hidden worm, gnawed the root of their relationship.
They each, lacked mutual confidence, and lived in mutual dread.
Now judge me, many fathers; and hearken to my counsel, many sons;
I come with good in either hand, to reconcile contentions;
For a better friend can no man have, than those whom God has placed in family,
And he that despises this gift, thinks ill of that which he has no understanding of.
And you, sons, be wiser, and win paternal friendship,
Cultivate their kindness, seek them out with honor, and be like Japheth, who covered his father’s failings:
And now fathers, gain again your relationship,
Cherish their reasonable views and opinions, and look not with coldness on your children.
For the friendship of a child is the brightest gem set upon the circle of all society,
A jewel worth a world of pains --- a jewel seldom seen.”
Martin F. Tupper