Exerts04My dear Son,
You asked me if I could feel a change in you thru your letters. Well, I can honestly say that your letters from the first have surprised me. I hope when we are together again we may continue the comradeship that I have enjoyed thru your letters. I think your mind is steadying. Of course you are changing but from everything I can read and feel, it is for the
better. You know, there have been many times that I felt that you thought me just a little superficial. But I hope as you grow older you will realize that a giddy exterior often hides a lonely heart. And I hope, too, that you will never doubt the depth of my love for you or the intense pride I have in knowing that I have such a fine son. I only wish that your father might have lived to see you grow up. He would have been very proud of you too. You know that he was your age when he was in the last war and he would now be 45 years old… The French scuttled their fleet today and I am glad to know that it did not fall into the hands of the Germans. I feel sure that the war cannot last so very much longer. Good night, my son, and God keep you.

– from Somewhere in the Eighties (essay)