Little boys become men. Some may even become fathers. They may raise their own sons or daughters. As I watch a little boy so excited by stop signs, trucks, and planes I am blessed with hope. The hope to instill in him the values of what it is to be a good man. I stopped celebrating Father’s Day many years ago. A man may have claimed to be a father but the virtue of having a child does not entitle every man to the claim of ‘Daddy.’ I began celebrating this holiday again last year because my husband became a father, and a damn good one I might add.
I hope my son will see in both of his parents what it truly means to be a good man. In becoming a good man, I have the highest hope that one day he will become a great husband, and beyond this title may he become the best Dad. So to my baby boy, I am teaching you manners for a reason. I ask you not to hit for reasons bigger than I can express in words. I try so hard to instill love and kindness because these values are seemingly forgotten in this age.
Men open doors for ladies. They open car doors, restaurant doors, or every door they encounter so a lady can walk through. And when a woman is at her wit’s end with grief or is unsure of herself, a real men will find the door she needs to walk through. He will open it for her. They do not wish to hold a lady behind them. They will prop open the smallest window of opportunity and push their lady through it. In seeing their lady become the best she can be, real men know they are already doing the best they can. They encourage and inspire with no hope other than success, gender does not matter in this success.
A true man will bring flowers, say ‘excuse me,’ and realize romance is the most vital component to love. Flowers need water, sun, and earth to grow. Every lady needs the same. Attention, respect, and small gestures will turn a relationship into ivy. Ivy spreads, covers, and is irritatingly hard to kill. Seek this in your relationships. If it is pure, it will never die. It will cover and protect you in the darkest of times.
A man never uses his fists when he is intelligent enough to use his words. Do not hit. Do not bring forth the anger in a woman. To my son, here is a great little secret in the girl kingdom. We were never good at fist fights. We weren’t made to fight a physical battle so we have learned to rely on other methods which will cause more pain than if we had punched you in the face. Don’t go into a fight to hurt. Don’t go to win. There are never any winners in fights. There is only hurt to be found. Be the man which is needed. Be a listener. Be understanding. Above all, be the love that many women have never been shown.
When I speak of kindness, I speak from a place you do not know about. I was not shown true kindness. No father gave me love. He provided a scary place built on fear. The scars he left may last me my entire life. Do not be a scar on a woman’s heart. Instead, be the hand to hold even when you are angry. Be the arms that hug when she is crying mad. Be kind. Don’t place a word out in the air which you can’t reclaim. Anger is darkness and it can destroy a life. Love is the light. It will bring so many great aspects into your life. My love brought me you.
You hug tight a teddy bear. A teddy bear I held tight for many years before you existed. Inside this bear is a heart. A heart I made a wish upon before I stuffed the bear at “Build a Bear.” I wished not for the beatings and the manipulations to stop. I wished for love. Love rises above all.
You will fail a woman or a man at some point in your life. If it is real love, if it is true, they will hold your hand. They will hold open your doors. They will be your ivy. They will show you kindness and love when you least expect and deserve it. This is the markings of a true and great man. And may one day a little human look towards you to understand what it is to be great father.
This is dedicated to the men who taught me what a father is. Happy Father’s Day and thank you. I never knew a good man till I knew these men, my husband and his father. And finally, my son. All true great men.