Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Love's Austere and Lonely Offices

This morning, I overheard our office manager and her assistant talking about how hard it was to get their sons out of bed. The assistant was saying how, even with a two hour delay today, she had such a difficult time. She was recounting all the things she had tried. Our cook overheard her and said "you spoil him!" As I was listening to this exchange, I had a flash back to when I was the boy's age having to get up at what seemed like a ridiculously early hour.

Truth is, it was fairly early because my father was principal and had to be school earlier than everyone else (how well I understand that now!). My poor dad did everything he could to get us up and ready so he wouldn't be late. He even made our lunches for us and . . . brought us breakfast in bed! I think of it now and would give anything to have one of those breakfasts: fresh squeezed orange juice, French toast,hot chocolate, etc. I'm afraid I didn't appreciate them so much back then as they got me out of bed. We little realize at the time what lovely, loving things our parents do for us when we're young, do we? Makes me think of this tender poem by Robert Hayden:

Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden
Sundays too my father got up early
And put his clothes on in the blueback cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I'd wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices?

1 comment:

inlandempiregirl said...

I really like the poem. We had a late start on Monday which was a nice easing in to being back. You were most fortunate. No breakfast in bed for us because my mom was the teacher trying to get ready for school too! It was hot lunch for us.