My Grandchildren start school today....It's all going to be sort of strange and new for them for awhile, and I wish you would sort of treat them with gentleness.
You see, up till now, they have been king of the roost....They have been the boss of their own back yard. There has always been someone near to soothe their wounds and repair their feelings.
But now things are going to be different again.
This morning they are going to walk down the front steps, wave goodbye and start on a new adventure....It's an adventure that will probably include wars and tragedy and sorrow...To live their life in the world they will have to live a life that will require faith and love and courage.
So, World, I wish you would sort of look after them....Take them by the hand and teach them things they will have to know.
But do it gently, if you can.
They will have to learn, that all men are not just, that all men are not true.
But teach them also that for every scoundrel there is a hero...that for every crooked politician there is a great and dedicated leader. Teach them that for every enemy, there is a friend.
Steer them away from envy, if you can....
and teach them the secret of quiet laughter.
In school, World, teach them that it is more honorable to fail than to cheat....Teach them to have faith in their own ideas, even if everyone says they are wrong...Teach them to be gentle, gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.
Try to give my grandsons the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon....Teach them to listen to all men ~ but teach them also to filter all they hear on a screen of truth and take just the good that siphons through.
Teach them there is no shame in tears....
Teach them there can be glory in failure and despair in success.
Treat them gently, World, if you can. But don't coddle them.
Because only, the test of fire makes fine steel....Let them have the courage to be impatient....Let them have the patience to be brave.
Let them be no man's man....Teach them always to have sublime faith in themselves.
Because then they will always have sublime faith in mankind.
This is quite an order, World, but see what you can do....
They are such nice young fellows, they are my grandsons!
I posted this reading on my fridge in 1979 when I watched 'their Father' take his first day of school.
It's a message though printed on faded colored paper, continues to still ring clear as a bell for me, now in my role as a grandmother.
I have modified the words to reflect my feelings as a grandmother. I found this reading in the "Dairy Contact' September 1979. page 23