Today you are 5. Whaaaaaaat?!
That can't be true.
But it is!
You walk with a swagger.
You make sure everyone knows when you fart.
You tuck a mean football.
You go commando.
You love dirt and tools and things that explode.
You snore. Sometimes.
You think you're always right.
Yes, in many ways you are already a man. It's got me wondering what the years ahead will hold as you continue to grow. How do I teach you, shape you, mold you, guide you into being the sort of MAN I hope in my heart you will be? What are the lessons I want you most to know? What makes a Good Man?
I don't have all the answers to those questions. And I'm still not sure how I'm going to do it. But I'm happy I have your awesome Daddy (a very Good Man) to help me. And God. (He's a Good Man, too.) Along the way, I'm sure I'm gonna mess it up, fight my own frustrations, suffer through my own shortcomings. And for that I apologize in advance! But today, my hope is that these lessons below are ones you learn as you grow. Through my words, by my example, and from my love.
Five Ways to be a Good Man
Play a Sport. It will teach you valuable lessons about being a part of a team and grow your muscles. Pick a Club. Music, Art, Theater, Debate - it will grow your self awareness and help you when it's time to step out of your comfort zone. Do for Others. It will reward you in ways no 'I-focused' event ever can and it will grow your heart. Education is more than academics. Grow your whole person.
There are going to be times when life is hard to understand. Those you love are going to fail you. You are going to fail yourself. Believe in something bigger. Believe you have purpose, even in the hours you're not sure what it is. Especially then! Find beauty in simple things and take the time to find it in people too. Believe in your heart you are fiercely and unconditionally loved. Just for being YOU. Pray. Arm yourself with scripture. Believe.
Use Your Manners
Don't roll your eyes. I'm serious. Manners are not old fashioned or lame. Pull out chairs, open car doors, take your hat off indoors. Cover your heart when saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Bow your head when saying Grace. And alwaysalwaysalways hold open doors for ladies...even if you end up standing there for minutes. It's appreciated and swoon worthy. I promise.
Walk In Love
In the smallest aspects of life, wherever you are - on the field, on the sidewalk, in the grocery store; at work, at home, at church - interact with integrity and compassion. Be kind and respectful. To people, to animals, to ideas. Differences are to be enjoyed and celebrated, not demeaned or judged. Be a loyal friend and partner. Be a good listener. Be trustworthy and honest. Always choose love.
Keep Your Hands To Yourself
Don't get into fist fights. First off, it's gonna scare me to death. But second, it's just trashy. Keep your cool. Use your words. Be the bigger person and walk away. If some jerk is putting either of your sisters in a compromising situation however, kick his ass. I'll bail you out. Every time.
Wyatt, my love...
My hope for you is that you grow to be a Good Man. By getting involved, being faithful, using your manners and walking in love (and away from fist fights!) - you will not only be a good man, you will do this world some good. I hope all these things for you. And that you always come home to your Mom for Christmas. Deal?
Happiest of Birthdays, Munch.
My heart explodes with love for you. I sometimes wonder how I will live through it...being your Mom and loving you so. There is no limit to the lengths I will go to ensure your happiness. I'm forever in your corner.