To my sons,
Once upon a time you were my Little Men, my constant companions, an extension of me, my little buddies. We did everything together and you saw the best and the worst of me, but never once stopped running to me when you needed help, when you were upset or hurt or excited or proud, or when you needed reassurance that I was still there.
But you’re not so little anymore. You grow more each day. You are both taller than your mother, your voices don’t sound like children’s voices anymore, and you tease one another about facial hair.
I’m excited to see where you’re headed, but I’m anxious at the same time.
Right now when I look around, I see husbands, boyfriends and fathers that step out on their women, that leave their children without providing for them or in some cases, acknowledging them. I see “men” choosing to forget their commitments, following their own selfish desires, and leaving a trail of brokenness behind them.
But boys, you’ve already got a good start on becoming Real Men. This weekend, along with your father you carried boxes until your muscles were spent, and you took care of the baby so that other work could be done. You were helping when there was no man to help.
Because THIS is a man.
He opens his home to those who need one and puts food on the table for his own family and for others that need it too. THIS is a man.
He works hard everyday at a job that isn’t always exciting so that he can take care of his family. THIS is a man.
He comes home after a long day, and still has enough energy to pick up the excited children running at him from all directions. THIS is a man.
He loves and supports his wife in what she does, and is grateful for all she does for their family. THIS is a man.
He steps in when another man has left and embraces that man’s children as his own. THIS is a man.
He leads his family in the knowledge of God and sets an example of service to his Heavenly Father. THIS is a man.
He uses his strengths to provide, protect and nurture, and he uses his weaknesses to teach. THIS is a man.
He honours his commitments and takes responsibility for the choices he makes, even at great personal cost. THIS is a man.
He puts his own wants and even needs aside for the sake of others who need him more. THIS is a man.
So my sons, even though you’ve seen the ones who run off, run away, run and hide, and run and disappear, you have also seen the Real Men, like your father.
The ones who step up and stand in the gap, who use their skills, their abilities and their presence to help, to protect and to provide. They are all around you, giving of themselves for the benefit of others.
And that is what I want to see you become.
Because boys, THAT is a Man.
Love forever and always, Mom