My father's indulgence1

As you know, our family lived in a village. I have told you many, many times that before I used to go to town, I was in the habit of “stealing” money from my father’s pocket, almost every day. As a matter of fact, I did it every day, without fail! My father was so kind. He perhaps inwardly enjoyed my mischief. Never did he scold me. When he would go out of town, he took a different coat. He left his regular coat behind and put more money inside his pocket for me to take!

My mother was different. She worried all the time. She was so miserable that I had developed the unfortunate habit of taking my father’s money. My mother used to tell my father not to put money inside his pocket. But my father said, “No, no, no — I must continue.” My mother said, “I am worried. Today he will take from your pocket, and tomorrow the neighbours will make complaints!” Then my father said, “I know my son. He will not go that far. He will be confined to my pocket.”

My father’s prophecy was correct. He was indulgent to the extreme. That is my family story — father and son.

  1. HCE 27. 13 April 2005, Aspiration-Ground, Jamaica, New York