父亲和女儿 Father and Daughter

2021年1月20日
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父亲和女儿 Father and Daughter

When a father has a complaint to make about his son, all he has to do is take the boy aside and yell at him,

一位父亲要向儿子发牢骚时,只要把儿子拉到一边,对他大叫:

“What do you mean by getting home at three o'clock in the morning? Your mother was worried to death!”

“你清晨3点回家是什么意思?你妈担心死了!”

“Twenty bucks? You want twenty bucks? My God, the way you spend my money, you could be the United States government.”

“20块钱?你要20块钱吗?我的天啊!照你这样花我的钱,你可以当美国政府了。”

“A car of your own? Listen to him, will you? He's still wet behind the ears, and he wants a car of his own!”

“一辆属于自己的车子?你们听听看!他还乳臭未干,就想要一辆属于自己的车子!”

This is the sort of thing that goes on every day. Sarcasm, grumbling, out-and-out rage — how else should a father in this modern world express his affection and concern for his own son?

这是每天都发生的事情。讽刺、抱怨、十足的愤怒——在这个现代社会,父亲还能怎样表达对爱子的爱护和关心呢?

But between a father and his daughter it isn't so easy. Because a father can't yell at his daughter, or wave his fist at her threateningly, or call her a good-for-nothing. More than one father has, of course. But he usually ends up with a terrible feeling of guilt over it. And then, when she smiles up at him and puts her hands on his shoulders and murmurs that pet name which he's always been a sucker for, the most determined father in the world is as helpless as a baby.

但是父女之间就不是这么简单。因为父亲不能对女儿大喊大叫,恐吓地对她挥拳或说她是个无用的人。当然,不止一位父亲曾经这样做过。但是通常最后父亲会因此而深感内疚。然后,当女儿对父亲嫣然一笑,把双手放在父亲的肩头,同时喃喃叫出他一向酷爱的昵称时,即使是世界上意志最坚强的父亲也会像婴儿一样无助。

Such was the case with Dan Waxman.

丹·韦克斯曼的情形就是这样。

His daughter Barbara — Bobby he called her, this was his favorite nickname for a girl — was his only daughter. Ever since she was old enough to cry or flutter her eyelashes, she had very little trouble getting her way with him. But she more than paid him back for this. When she was little she paid him back in laughter and high spirits, in showing him how much she enjoyed her life.

他的女儿芭芭拉——他叫她芭比,这是他最喜欢的女孩子的小名——是他的独生女。自从她长到会哭或会眨睫毛以来,她几乎可以对他为所欲为。但是为这种事她会大大地报答他。小时候,她用欢笑和高昂的情绪报答他,向他表示她是多么享受她的生活。

“Sarah,” he used to say to his wife, “what are we bringing up in this household, a little girl or a wild Indian?”

“萨拉,”他总是对太太说,“我们家里养了什么,是小女孩还是野蛮的印第安人?”

“A wild Indian!” Bobby used to shout out gleefully, and jump around the living room giving war whoops.

“野蛮的印第安人!”芭比经常愉快地大声叫喊,在客厅里跳来跳去,发出印第安人打仗时的呼叫声。

And now that she was almost grown up, she paid him back in quieter, more ladylike ways. She told him her secrets, the ones she wanted him to hear. She asked his opinion of her clothes and her hairdos. She even laughed at his jokes. Not out of diplomacy either, but heartily and spontaneously, because she thought they were funny and she liked to see him in a good mood.

而她既然已经快长大成人,她就用更文静、更淑女的方式报答他。她告诉他她的秘密,那些她要他听的秘密。她询问他对她的衣服与发型的意见,她甚至听他的笑话而大笑。并不是出于处事圆滑,而是衷心地与自发地,因为她认为那些笑话好笑,而且她喜欢看到父亲心情愉快。

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