From the December 1944 magazine.

The Children Say What A.A. Means to Them

A.A. Showed My Father the Door to Maturity. . .

Six years ago my father called my brother and me into the living room to give us one of his few and scattered "lectures." However, the contents of his dreaded speech were far from what we expected. They were, in fact, a confession and a pledge to us. While we sat there in silence, he told us how selfish he had been in using liquor to such an extreme that he had hurt his family and his friends. Then he promised us that he would never drink again, and he has kept his word. At the time I was too young to understand the whole significance of what my father had done, but I did know that his growing "weakness" had made me and the rest of my family unhappy. I was at the age when my environment made deep impressions with little meaning, and I felt, though I did not know why, that my father had just defeated a cancerous evil in himself which, had it not been defeated, would eventually have been disastrous to the entire family. As the years went by, I began to understand the meaning of my father's victory more and more. Actually, he was growing up with me, and as a result of this we could talk to each other with ease. He told me of the strength in faith, the power in humility, and the happiness in helping others. As I was growing up with him, likewise he was growing up with that which had shown him the door to maturity--Alcoholics Anonymous.

Today I believe that I understand the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and I also believe that through it I have received great values. I have often regretted that other boys of my age could not be exposed to this movement as I have. It seems to me that, if this were possible, they could not only keep themselves safe from alcoholism but that they could also find in A.A. a finer understanding of life itself that would enable them to live it more fully.

-- Bert T.'s 18-year-old son, Alan

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