Actor Martin Sheen talks about fatherhood, faith and love in his new book, “Along the Way: The Journey of a Father and Son”, which has been published just in time for Father’s Day. The actor says he has no regrets and if he had a second chance at life he would have had eight kids instead of four, rough patches or not.
The book is a memoir co-written by Martin Sheen with his eldest son, Emilio Estevez. The book opens with recollections of their 2010 joint project - a film called “The Way”. As the book proceeds, both writers share the ups and downs of their lives being a father and a son with fatherly wisdom sparkling at many instances throughout the book.
Sheen admits his shortcomings in raising his children either because of his career ambitions or the alcoholism that stopped him from thinking straight. However, he treasures his time with his children so much that despite a few rough patches here and there, he says he would love to relive another life with his kids.
"You're not going to get the ideal relationship," Sheen says. "Charlie could have become a priest; Emilio could have become a doctor. You don't get to choose that. And it's not really a reflection of you. They did have a hand in the bargain."
Sheen also discusses his own father and being the seventh child of the family. He says that while his father didn’t think or talk much about Sheen’s career as an actor, he always used to inspire Sheen especially when he was growing up. “Sons absorb messages about manhood at their fathers’ sides, much of it through osmosis, and I observed my father closely whenever I could,” Sheen writes in his book. “All of us lads did. There was such joy in just being with him. At night we would crowd into the house’s single bathroom to watch him shave.”
This Father’s Day, Sheen plans to have a gathering at his Catholic parish for his sons, Emilio and Charlie, who are now dads, and for his late father. Sheen shares his philosophy of life that he learned through the years, advising his readers to give as much time as possible to their children. "If you have an honest relationship with a child, that is the greatest gift. Lead an honest life and be free," Sheen writes.