The Child Is Father of the Man

My heart leaps up when I behold
A Rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
The Child is father of the man;
And I wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

~ William Wordsworth

Don’t you sometimes wish you could have known your parents or grandparents or aunts and uncles when they were very young? One of the joys of reading great-aunt Hattie’s diaries is discovering entries about my grandmother Louise and grandfather Harry and their children, especially my father:

Five Farm Men
My dad is the little one.
In clothes with plenty of room to grow into

Here are just a few of Hattie’s entries about my father, Harley, who was born in 1930:

Three Days Old: In p.m., Will and I went to Harry’s, got Nellie and Harry, went to Rosebud hospital, saw Louise and son, back to Harry’s for supper.

Twelve Days Old: Ben and Will worked at sweep and helped with calves. In p.m., Ben and Wm put hay in stack, and Will and I went to Harry’s. We and Nellie went along to Rosebud, where we got Louise and son Harley Edward, who is 12 days old.

Five Months Old: Will went to Harry and Louise’s in the evening to vaccinate calves, but did not catch them, so he had supper, got a piece of beef, and came home with an armful of Western magazines. They are well, but Harley put his hand in hot coffee this evening.

Six Months Old: Louise, Harry and Harley Edward came this day, and Harley had a fall from bed, so has a hurt nose and rug prints on his forehead, but he is still smiling.

One Year Old: Will had supper at Harry and Louise’s, for Harry and Buster were at O’Kreek and took him home, then Harry, Louise and Harley took Will back to O’Kreek, for Harley cried for Will all evening, and it is his 1st birthday, being 1 yr. old today.

Nine Years Old: Wm L. Fronek, W. J. Whitcher, Harry and Harley played pitch, and Billie kept score. Mary put pennies in Elephant bank. Louise, Dorothy, Mrs. Angel, Julia and I visited both up and downstairs, for we went upstairs to find the leaf of a plant that I put away when Harley broke off Mrs. Angel’s plants when he was two years old, but could not find it.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Be wary of hot coffee and heights and fragile plants (now I know where my clumsiness comes from.)

Harley and Siblings
Dad (far right) and his siblings

7 thoughts on “The Child Is Father of the Man

  1. How sweet!!! I hope to have a diary for my children to look back on when they are older. Happy Father’s Day to all of the wonderful fathers out there. 🙂

  2. Wonderful Father’s Day posts! One of my favorite things to do growing up was listening to my grandmother tell stories of her trials and tribulations raising my mischievous father. She never kept a diary, but she was a great storyteller, and painted pictures of my dad as a kid that were more vivid than anything I saw in a photo album : ).

  3. Thank you! I am so grateful to have these recollections. Having the memory of being told them (especially about a mischievous father!) would be even sweeter.

    Michi, thanks, too, for your comment on the blog theme. I’ve been looking for awhile for one that seemed “just right” and that allowed me to show off my childhood home.

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