Sunday, June 21, 2009

Learning from Abe

A great man. A great father?

This Father's Day objet d'eBay, a copy of a portrait taken by Matthew Brady, shows America's 16th president. Abraham Lincoln, reading to the youngest of his four boys, Tad (Thomas). The master photographer captured the close relationship between father and son, but suggests that there was a formality, perhaps even an order to how Lincoln ruled over his son. For better or worse, the child recognized as his father's favorite was pretty much allowed to live (even within the White House) pretty much as wildly as he wanted. [Earlier: Abe's Tale: Father and Son]

So what can be learned from a picture that is both true and false? Does the great dad allow his child(ren) to run a(be)mok? What if neither he nor the child will see all their days? What will history care, or should the dad really care? Maybe the point is just to grasp all the great moments one can (and leave the question to others of whether or not you are a great man or a great father)?

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