Ricardo Montalban… a letter to his son

In a Dear Abby column several decades ago, Ricardo Montalban was quoted as writing the following for his son and it’s stayed with me to this day.  I find it interesting that I still remember it, now that I too am a father.

Dear Son,

As long as you live in this house, you will follow the rules. When you have your own, you can make your own rules. In this house we do not have a democracy. I did not campaign to be your father. You did not vote for me. We are father and son by the grace of God, and I accept that privilege and awesome responsibility. In accepting it, I have an obligation to perform the role of a father. I am not your pal. Our ages are too different. We can share many things, but we are not pals. I also am your friend, but we are on entirely different levels. You will do in this house as I say and you must not question me because whatever I ask you to do is motivated by love. This will be hard for you to understand until you have a son of your own. Until then, trust me.

Your father

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