A Son Is a Gift

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More About This Book

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446531191
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Read an Excerpt

A Son is a Gift

By Joanne Davis

Warner Books

Copyright © 2003 Redbridge LLC
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-53119-7

Chapter One

"And all to leave what with his toil he won To that unfeather'd two-legged thing-a son." -John Dryden

Imagine, if you can, a tiny boy kneeling in the center of a sandbox, wearing a faded pair of blue denim overalls.

Maybe he's a "wheelie" boy who races cars and trucks all day on ramps and roadways set into the dunes. Or maybe he's a sandbox warrior who uses homemade sound effects to blow up "bad guys" hidden in "enemy camps." Perhaps our boy is a dinosaur hunter fascinated by massive jawbones and giant wingspans that allow his armada of reptiles to win the battle of survival. Or maybe he's a budding archaeologist who treats bottle caps and bits of glass like precious booty pinched from the pyramids.

You gaze upon this boy, who builds and dismantles, makes war and peace, wipes out entire species, and plays every part in every game. You gaze on him as only you can, remembering the first time you held him in your arms and fell in love. Because, you see, he isn't any little boy. He is your little boy-your son. And the picture is perfect.

A son is a gift. Whether those words have ever filtered through your mind or rolled off your tongue in a quiet moment of deep reflection, the truth is undeniable. A son is a gift of extraordinary value. Serving as keeper of the family name and guardian of its promise, a son breathes new life into old plans and reminds the world of what tomorrow may bring. As the author of Genesis wrote so many centuries ago, "The smell of my son is the smell of a field which the Lord has blessed." Bearing the promise of a new harvest, a son carries forward the cycle of life and the splendor of regeneration.

What gives our sons such prowess and mystique, making them standard bearers of possibilities? Perhaps Renaissance man Francis Bacon put his finger on it in his essay "Of Youth and Age," written in 1620. Illuminating the differences between fathers and sons, Bacon observed that "men of age object too much, consult too long, adventure too little, respond too soon and seldom drive business home to the full period but content themselves with the mediocrity of success." Sons, Bacon continues, are different. "In the conduct and management of their actions," he writes, "they embrace more than they can hold, stir more than they can quiet and go to the end without considerations of the means and degrees."

To put it plainly, our sons push the limits and stir the pot. Fueled by the spirit of adventure and the vibrant energy of youth, they reach for the stars, fearlessly going where none has gone before. Scoffing at cautions to play it safe, they blaze new trails and skate on thin ice. Challenging tradition and authority, our sons thrill to the "no fear" motto of the snowboarding culture that proclaims you are "taking up too much space if you are not living on the edge."

We get our first glimpse of our sons' primal and untamed nature in the sandbox, where they reign like tiny gods fashioning the world as they go. There we see what an unfettered imagination looks like before society and conformity have begun to snip and tuck, refine, and repress. Working as builders and architects, creators and destroyers, military men and peacemakers, our sons are spontaneous, energetic and original, inventing their world as they go.

Perhaps it was a tiny boy in the sandbox who inspired the ancient Roman writer Themistocles to write: "The wildest colts make the best horses." Rearing his head in the wind, bucking the forces that emphasize what is not possible, a son may one day lead the pack in a rhythmic charge that shakes the world on its axis.

For, well and truly, who would dispute that a son is a gift?


Excerpted from A Son is a Gift by Joanne Davis Copyright © 2003 by Redbridge LLC. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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