Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Abe's Tale: Father and Son

For the final coda to this year's U.S. presidents' day we have the sad story of Abe and the Thomases Lincoln.

struggled with his father, Thomas, a single frontier parent for many years, upset over discipline and the elder's lack of education. (This sounds vaguely like Thing 2 telling me I don't know anything about her seventh grade math assignments, which, perhaps, maybe means I might be a presidential father?) Their divisions grew so great that as Thomas called for his son to his deathbed, the man 10 years from his presidency declined to make the 80-mile trip — not even making it after his father's passing mdash; believing, "If we could meet now, it is doubtful whether it would not be more painful than pleasant."

Still, there was some connection made by father to son as the president named his youngest son Thomas (with his father above). In a parenting style that doesn't need a forensic psychiatrist to explain, "Tad" (nicknamed for looking like a tadpole as a newborn) was allowed to grow in a cocoon of almost no discpline. He ran wild in the White House and died at age 18, about seven years after his father's assassination.

What were we celebrating again?

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