Dear Son of mine,
You are only 11 years old, but you tell me that you wished you didn’t cry. I tell you that tears are gifts, tears connect us, tears remind us that we are human, that we are here, that we love and feel. But you roll your eyes. You roll your eyes at your mother because you believe the fathers in your life and they say: Tears are weakness. Strength is stoicism. So you bite your tongue, you throw a baseball, football, basketball, and you scream instead.
My soul-seeking son,
Please don’t cover all emotion with anger. Instead, dig deep within yourself. What you will find there is more beautiful than any words your fathers tells you. Your truth is louder than the boys that yell at school or the screaming music that fills your iPhone like a soundtrack of pain, because I know the little one within your skin. For I held you and loved you before the world told you that boys don’t cry.
My precious son,
I remember when you laughed and climbed to the tallest point of the park, above the rafters and you screamed, “I did it!”. Genuine pride like the sun will always shine on your parade. Pride that overflows spilling into every cup around you so that your pride becomes their pride and the playground is contagious with a virus of “I did it too!” as scared mommas clammer to save their babies from the wild boy climbing to the top of the world. Among the trees, now the clouds, now the sun! You grab the rays of the sun and you pull in the brightness of it, the warmth of it, you have no fear because you are a god touching the son.
And then, you fell. You cried because it hurt. The blood and dirt on your skinned knee were the manifestation of the fallen hero. The lost brightness. The realization that perfection was not possible. That the sun was not obtainable. That everything in this world is not perfect. And I held you, as you cried until you slept because tears heal falls. Tears celebrate the climb. And tears are real life.
This was before your pride was stamped out by a school system that values uniformity over creativity and before girls were gross and loving your mother was weakness. Before the world told you that men go it alone and you shut down that within you that wants to ask for help and wants to be loved by those that love you. Instead, you are tough, when in truth you are scared and lonely.
My imperfectly perfect son,
Please hold on to that sacred sweetness that is your true strength. For the little boy that brought home windflowers and put them in a bowl of water so that they could be pretty in our house is the true nature of your soul. Don’t believe them when they say that boys will be boys because deep down, you know the truth. That a real man is sweet like sugar and spice and everything nice. That the rays of the sun are worth reaching for, even if the day ends with a fall and that your cup overflows.
So cherish the gift of your tears because they are the manifestation of everything in this life that is worth living for.