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To My Son, Who’s Seen Me Cry

My sweet boy,

You have seen me, your mommy, cry more times that I care to admit. There are so many times I try to hide it from you because I know how much it hurts you to see me sad, and how much it confuses you. I don’t like this part of our life. I don’t like that already, you feel like you have to be the brave and strong one by offering me your blankie, by telling me it will get better or by telling me that tomorrow is a new day. I hate that you feel like you had to take on this roll at such a young age. I hate that I feel you were robbed of your childhood in so many ways.

But what else I know is that God gave us this life for a reason. He has a plan for us and even with all the way I hate this, I have a few ways I hope you learn from this.

From seeing me cry, I hope you learn it’s okay to show your emotions. Growing up as a male in this very stigmatic world, you will automatically be influenced to believe that boys don’t show emotion. Boys don’t get upset. Boys don’t get their hearts broken. Boys don’t cry. That’s the farthest from the truth. Boys can be sad. Boys can be heartbroken. Boys can cry. No matter what, I want you to know that showing your emotion or just “getting it out” might actually be the healthiest thing you’ll ever do. Please know that as your mommy, I will always always be there to cry to. Do not ever hold it back, especially in my presence. Even when you’re a grown man with real adult problems, come cry to me, I’ll be there.

From seeing me cry, I hope you learn how to be gentle. At age 4, you are already so gentle with me. You never like to see me cry. You usually always sit with me until you know I’m “all better”. Please don’t ever lose that. Please don’t ever walk away from your wife when she’s crying. Sit with her like you sit with me. Hold her hand. Offer your shoulder. Let her know you are there. Sometimes just 5 minutes of not being alone will make all the difference.

From seeing me cry, I hope you learn how to be understanding. I pray that one day you’ll have children of your own, maybe even a daughter. She’ll have more ups and downs that a rollercoaster. She will cry because her favorite pair of jeans are in the washer. She will cry because she woke up with a pimple on school picture day. She will cry because she didn’t get asked to prom. It will seem as though she cried more days than she didn’t. Please be understanding. Please understand and remember that these days can be fragile. Please remember how hard some of your growing days seemed at the time; remember that it’s not until we get through something, that we realize it all turned out okay.

Above all, from seeing me cry, I hope you learned life. Life sucks sometimes. Life can be hard during the times we least understand it. But we got through, didn’t we? I hope, even with all my tears, I was able to display strength and the willingness to never give up. You have actually witnessed me crying for hours on the bathroom floor, probably wondering why I wouldn’t get up. I hate that you had to see that at all, let alone more than once. But, you were also there the next day to witness that life does still go on. You saw that a new day can bring smiles and laughter. You saw that we can get out of bed the next day and hit up the water park or go out for ice cream. I hope that when you are old enough to understand, you will look back and see that even with all my tears, there was still a life to live and we both strived to do the best damn job at it, that we could.

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