Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"Oh no, Mr. Tate, he can't shoot!"

I can't believe that this blog -- about fathers, fatherhood, and especially now, for me, fathering alone -- has never ever considered Atticus Finch.  A widowed man who is a calm influence, letting his kids kick up a joyful, curious swirl around him.  A man who instructs not by lecture but by example.  A man who blesses his children with both his involvement as well as his absence.  A man whose character is revealed before his children's eyes over three summers in Maycomb, Alabama.

Here is my favorite scene of revelation, as portrayed in the Oscar winning 1962 movie:



So although Harper Lee's story is widely recognized as a meditation on American race relations, for me it is also about how to be a father (and, to a lesser extent, how to be a lawyer).  As part of my Canon, I keep a First Edition Library reproduction in my office, but I never refer to it.  It is only a touchstone, but like my law partner once said, it's a story he never wanted to end.  Fathering is a work in progress, and if one can keep examples like Atticus Finch in one's sights - even when one's glasses slip every now and then - the target will be hit often enough.




4 comments:

M.Lane said...

Oh VERY good. Nothing like having your child see you do something they didn't think you could do in a million years. I remember the first time I beat my son in a foot race. He looked at me like an alien...

ML

Ben said...

That sounds hilarious. My dad was able to remind me he had the upper hand for a good long while.

Kevin Souza said...

Well said, Ben...well said!

Ben said...

Thanks, Kev.