Evgeny Leonov: a letter to his son, 1974
Evgeny Leonov: a letter to his son, 1974
Evgeny Leonov: a letter to his son, 1974

“Andryusha, you love me as I love you. You know what kind of wealth love is. True, some believe that my love is somehow different and from her, they say, one harm. Or maybe, in fact, my love prevented you from being an exemplary schoolboy? After all, I have never whipped you in all nine school years.

Remember, you made faces at the blackboard, the class laughed, and the teacher then reprimanded me for a long time. I looked three times guilty, as if I were standing in a corner, and she was scolding me like a boy. I’m ready for any humiliation, but it’s not enough for her: “After all, the lesson is disrupted … - after all, we do not study fully for forty-five minutes.. - because he himself does not know anything and does not allow others to study … - after all, you will have to take him from school … - because words do not work on him …"

Sweaty sweat shirt, jacket and moccasins, and she did not calm down. "Well, I think I'll give you a slap today, that's it!" With these thoughts I cross the school yard and go out to Komsomolsky Prospect. Out of excitement, I can’t get into a taxi or a trolleybus, and I’m walking … A woman drags a heavy bag, a child cries when she sees me, smiles, I hear my back, my mother says: “So Winnie the Pooh is laughing at you …” Stranger greets me … The autumn breeze blows over me. I walk up to the house with the feeling that I have taken a hit, and okay. I go into the house, completely forgetting about the slap, and when I see you, I ask: "What kind of faces did you build there, what everyone liked, show me." And we laugh.

And so on until the next call. The mother does not go to school. And I lie there and think: if only at night they were summoned to shoot in another city or they wouldn't let go from the rehearsal … But Wanda cries in the morning, and I cancel the flight, ask for leave from the rehearsal, I run to school to take my position in the corner. What little things are worthy of our experiences …

That is why I am writing these letters to correct something wrong, and I probably look funny and ridiculous, like some of my characters. But it's me! In fact, my friend, there is nothing simpler than the living anxiety of a father's heart. When I am alone, out of the house, longing, I remember your every word and every question, I want to talk to you endlessly, it seems that life is not enough to talk about everything. But you know, what is most important, I realized this after the death of my mother, our grandmother. Eh, Andryusha, is there a person in your life in front of whom you are not afraid to be small, stupid, unarmed, in all the nakedness of your revelation? This person is your protection.

I'll be home soon, Father. Leningrad. 3.X.74"

A happy childhood is not expensive toys, but sincere and selfless love of a father and mother. 17 reverent photos of men who first saw their newborn babies fully explain why half of the soul of every child is always occupied by dad.

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