My youngest has been carrying around a tiny, little bear in a crocheted hat for the past couple of days. “Shhhh,” he whispers, “Baby Bear is asleep in his nest.” Last night, Baby Bear and his nest had to sleep in my lap and I had to kiss Baby Bear on the head just like I kiss Daniel. I smile as I see him carrying around “his baby”. He is gentle, careful, and sweet in all of his interactions, just as if he was taking care of a real baby.
As I think about him growing up, I hope he keeps that tender sweetness. There is such a stigma with guys that they shouldn’t ever cry or that they are supposed to be tough and hard. For so many generations they have been discouraged to show emotion or get ridiculed if they shed a tear. I hope we can teach our boys that healthy emotion is okay.
As a daughter, wife, and mother, it absolutely warms my heart when I see the men in my life share a piece of their heart with me. I’ll never forget the letter my dad wrote for me when I graduated. It was loaded with emotion and he let me see his heart through his words. I will also never forget the tears my husband has cried for our boys. When they are sick or have been in the hospital, watching David tenderly care and cry for our sons has been a special privilege
I’m not saying I want a bunch of crybaby men running around, but I am saying that as a woman, it makes me feel more connected to the men in my life when I know their hearts emotionally. It warms me from the inside out when I see a father giving away his daughter and he has to wipe a tear from his eye. Or when a daddy is watching a ball game or recital and gets emotional. Or when a grandfather is worshipping in church and can’t stop wiping his face because he is so thankful for grace and second chances.
I want my boys to know that it’s okay to show emotions. That it’s okay to admit when they struggle. I want them to know how to support their future spouses and love them well. I want them to keep that sweet, tender spirit so that they will know how to be good, loving fathers one day.
And as Father’s Day is right around the corner, I want to challenge all of you men to show a little bit of emotion and share your hearts with the ones you love. Just like Daniel was so carefully and tenderly carrying around Baby Bear this week, let’s carefully and tenderly carry our loved ones’ hearts as well. Share a hug, a word, or a tear. You won’t regret it.