Strange: I more or less taught our 3 daughters the same thing about life.
The thing I miss most by being tied to the commitments I have made to justice: the great moments being with our daughters.
Should I worry?
F. Scott Fitzgerald with his wife, Zelda and their daughter, “Scottie”
La Paix, Rodgers Forge
August 8, 1933
I feel very strongly about you doing duty. Would you give me a little more documentation about your reading in French? I am glad you are happy but I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either. Those are things you see on the stage or the screen or the printed pages, they never really happen to you in life.
All I believe in in life is the rewards for virtue (according to your talents) and the punishments for not fulfilling your duties, which are doubly costly. If there is such a volume in the camp library, will you ask Mrs. Tyson to let you look up a sonnet of Shakespeares in which the line occurs Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.
Have had no thoughts today, life seems composed of getting up aSaturday Evening Post story. I think of you, and always pleasantly; but if you call me Pappy again I am going to take the White Cat out and beat his bottom hard, six times for every time you are impertinent. Do you react to that?
I will arrange the camp bill.
Halfwit, I will conclude.
Things to worry about:
Worry about courage
Worry about Cleanliness
Worry about efficiency
Worry about horsemanship
Worry about. . .
Things not to worry about:
Dont worry about popular opinion
Dont worry about dolls
Dont worry about the past
Dont worry about the future
Dont worry about growing up
Dont worry about anybody getting ahead of you
Dont worry about triumph
Dont worry about failure unless it comes through your own fault
Dont worry about mosquitoes
Dont worry about flies
Dont worry about insects in general
Dont worry about parents
Dont worry about boys
Dont worry about disappointments
Dont worry about pleasures
Dont worry about satisfactions
Things to think about:
What am I really aiming at?
How good am I really in comparison to my contemporaries in regard to:
(b) Do I really understand about people and am I able to get along with them?
(c) Am I trying to make my body a useful instrument or am I neglecting it?
With dearest love,
P.S. My come-back to your calling me Pappy is christening you by the word Egg, which implies that you belong to a very rudimentary state of life and that I could break you up and crack you open at my will and I think it would be a word that would hang on if I ever told it to your contemporaries. Egg Fitzgerald. How would you like that to go through life with Eggie Fitzgerald or Bad Egg Fitzgerald or any form that might occur to fertile minds? Try it once more and I swear to God I will hang it on you and it will be up to you to shake it off. Why borrow trouble?