I am currently reading to my boys a not so exciting book about Robert E. Lee. Lee is a great subject, but the style of this book is ponderous. One benefit though is the frequent extracts from Lee’s letters, particularly letters to his children.
This excerpt from a letter to his son in the army (before the war) is a great example of a parent’s proper longings for and expressions to a child. After giving some advice he writes:
“When I think of your youth, impulsiveness, and many temptations, your distance from me, and the ease (and even innocence) with which you might commence an erroneous course, my heart quails within me, and my whole frame and being trembles at the possible result. May Almighty God have you in His holy keeping. To His Merciful Providence I commit you, and will rely upon Him, and the Efficacy of the prayers that will be daily and hourly offered up by those who love you.”