Category Archives: Little Man Letters

Little Man Letters: Your Father’s Heart

Dear Enzo,

Last year on Father’s Day all I knew of you were kicks and hiccups. And all I knew of your dad as a father was that he would put his whole heart into raising you.

It has been the joy of a lifetime to watch you change and grow for the past 9 months. And in many ways, I can say the same about your dad. 

Much ado is made of a mother’s love in story and song (and retail marketing). And it’s all true. I love you with a love that’s otherwordly. But you need to know even though society doesn’t always celebrate dads the same way, he does too. 

He is fiercely protective of you. As a doctor who has seen the devastating effects of a common cold on an infant, he took every possible precaution to keep you healthy through flu season. Remaining resolute in the face of criticism and constant jokes.

If you are in need, there is no end to the lengths he will go. Such as Walmart, in the middle of the night, to get a special swaddle. We could have easily made do until morning, but “making do” absolutely will not do, when it comes to you. 

He is all about anything that will make you laugh. Even if it results in a strained neck from whipping his head around like a crazy person. And he will keep playing a game with you long after I’ve tapped out, because he can’t get enough of your smile. 

He is not a big spender. His preferred apparel is cargo shorts, a $1 solid colored t-shirt, and broken crocs as old as the hills. Yet when we go to the store, I find him drifting toward the toy aisle in search of a Catch Me Kitty (because you love your great-grandparent’s cat) or a DVD of cartoons that might hold your attention. It will be a SIGHT, I’m sure, the first time you point to something on a shelf and look at him with big pleading eyes. His wallet won’t be able to open fast enough. 

He misses you when he is at work, and is a little jealous of all the time I get to spend with you. (So it’s okay if you say Dada first. I’ve heard you repeating it in your crib. Go ahead and say it to him.) His favorite pastime on the weekend is holding you while you sleep. I have approximately 2000 photos of you napping on him. 

These are just sweet, everyday examples of your father’s affection. And while I hope I never have anything more than that to share, I am certain should you encounter sickness, setbacks or despair, his love for you will shine all the brighter.

What I’m trying to say is your dad is usually a very reserved man. He holds his hand close to his chest, “trusting no one, expecting sabotage.” Except when it comes to you. His cards are on the table, he’s ALL. IN. And he always will be.

I pray as you come to understand the depth of his heart it will guide your steps and strengthen your soul. And that no matter how far you decide to one day wander, it will always bring you back home. 

Love,
Mama

Little Man Letters: Be a Simple Man


Dear Little Man,

Ever since the ultrasound confirmed you were a boy, I’ve been playing this song. I never get tired of it. It’s one of my favorite rock tunes of all time, and now it’s practically a prayer. For you.

To be a simple man. Not simple-minded. Not lazy or uninspired. Rather, someone who can stand steady while the world rushes. Secure in himself, and his heart. Capable of quickly discerning what’s important from what’s popular.

Being a simple man doesn’t mean you can’t like nice things, or have big dreams, but that you are cautious about what you sacrifice in order to attain them. You know when to yank the reigns and say enough. 

Our culture won’t make that easy on you, which is why your dad and I are committed to raising you counter to it. There will be limits on media and organized activity, with more empty space than overly scheduled days on your calendar. We want you to occasionally be bored, so you’re prompted to look around and explore.

And we know it will be difficult, but we’re determined to sit down to lingering dinners more often than we throw a bag of nuggets to you in the backseat on the way to practice. To make busyness the exception, an accident, even, instead of the rule.

Contrary to the propaganda, it is possible to slow down and live simpler. To give our brains time to breathe instead of constantly bombarding them with ALL THE THINGS. It requires some tough calls, and inevitably there will be tantrums (not always by you), but we believe the benefits far outweigh the risk of upsetting you, each other, or family and friends. 

When you leave our house, you’ll be free to replace your plate with a platter and pile that puppy as high as you like. Run fast and furious toward all the glittery promises that surely accompany a life of more more more

But we hope you won’t make our mistakes. (Okay my mistakes. Your father rushes nothing. He has never been lured into the trap of excess leading to burnout. He’s obnoxiously mature like that.) You’ll realize the real gold is found in a slow sunrise start and a quiet sunset finish. A weekend walk in the woods, an afternoon with a book. Relationships that go beyond quick texts and timelines, extending into refrigerator rights. 

Right now you’re just a baby, but we pray you’ll grow to be a kind, humble, simple kind of man. 

Love,
Mom

Lyrics to song.
Sermon on Simplicity that we love.
Article on busyness and mental health

Little Man Letters: Your Father’s Hands

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Dear Little Man,

Father’s Day is coming up. It’s a day to celebrate the person God designated to be your earthly father. You have yet to see his face, but you seem to know him by his hands.

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In the morning when he kisses me goodbye, he puts a hand on my belly. Not long after, you start kicking. At night, when you’re boxing up a storm, his calm hand often prompts you to settle down.

When you join us on the outside, his hands will be two of the first to hold you.

They will help feed you, burp you
Change your diaper, and rock you to sleep

They’ll provide balance as you learn to walk, or ride a bike
And when you fall, they’ll pull you back up on your feet

They’ll show you how to defend yourself
With stories from his scrappy days
And if you’re interested in the guitar, piano, or violin
They’ll demonstrate how to play

They’ll stay up late assembling Christmas presents
Meticulously assist you with class projects
They might even teach you how to chop fruits and vegetables
Because that skill? Not my strongest

They’ll clap when you succeed
Tap your behind when you misbehave
But the most valuable thing your father’s hands will do for you
Is fold together as he prays.

Your dad is not perfect. You may not always be happy with his decisions, and at times he’ll make mistakes. But he will do his best to lead you and I with strong, steady hands, and a heart of faith. He’ll fight for us, that we might always hear and heed the still small voice of God’s holy spirit amid the chaos and noise of a lost world.

He’s a good man. Unfortunately not everyone can say that about their father. I don’t expect you to recognize the love and effort he’ll put into raising you for a very long time, but it’s my hope that someday, when you’re leaving our home to pursue life on your own, you’ll understand. As you shake his hand and head out the door, you’ll know what a blessing it was, to be born his son. 

Love,
Mom