Category Archives: Little Man Letters

Due Date | 2

Dear Enzo,

Your shirt says Brave Little Man. And that means more to me than just a common nickname preceded by a trendy adjective.

You are 19 weeks old today. Your sibling might have been 1 year.

Brave’s heart beat before yours. A strong flutter that was here then gone, that’s all we got to know of him or her. And yet from it we learned so much about God and love and the sanctity of human life.

When I wrote about our first baby’s due date last year, I had just recently found out I was pregnant with you. And I was terrified. Of more pain. More loss. Unknowns and inevitable hurdles. But I didn’t want to be consumed by fear. I wanted to honor Brave and show God gratitude for you. By having courage. Being brave. 

I did my best and my best was wobbly…yet resolute. Because I felt them with me. They held me up and helped me through. And I pray you will always feel them too. That you will walk in calm assurance, knowing wherever you go, whatever you do, God and Brave go before you.

Love,
Mom

Due Date | 1

Little Man Letters: On Dating

Dear Little Man,

This is not a bridge we’ll be crossing any time soon, but I have already been thinking about what insight I’ll be able to offer you in the dating department. The bulk of it will fall on your father’s shoulders. He’ll teach you about the birds and bees (BOOM. Boy Mom Perk #15) and be your primary example of how a gentleman treats a lady.

Our goal as parents will be to instill in you a strong, solid moral code. A value system that prizes inner beauty above all else. But we’re realistic. We know there will be times when you get distracted by something (someone) shiny. A girl who, God bless her, is cute as a button but totally lacks substance. Or a girl whose curves are on point, but Lord help her, has a lost, crooked compass.

That’s where I come in. I’m not here to brag, but….I can smell a skank from a mile away. And should you choose to parade one through my house? I will most certainly call you out. Not when she’s around, of course. But the second you kiss her goodnight and shut the door, the surround sound will begin to play an oldie but goodie from ’10s. Cued up to just the right verse:

My mama don’t like you and she likes everyone
And I never like to admit that I was wrong
And I’ve been so caught up in my job,
Didn’t see what’s going on
But now I know,
I’m better sleeping on my own

‘Cause if you like the way you look that much
Oh, baby, you should go and love yourself
 
I imagine you rolling your eyes as you appear in the doorway of your dad and I’s bedroom.

Really mom?

I’ll look up from painting my toe nails, innocence painted on my face.

That Justin Bieber. His hits are timeless. Total lyrical genius, don’t you agree son?

In all seriousness I’m not too worried about you choosing someone with shady intentions. Even if you do, I suspect the connection would fizzle out on its own. If nothing else she’ll grow tired of your dad and I being so parent-y. Always up in ya’lls business, asking intrusive questions like What are you two up to tonight? She might even call it quits before you do.

I think I will be far more helpful when it comes to determining whether you and/or the girl you are dating are really ready for a relationship. Not that you’ll listen. You’ll think you’re so smart by then.

But I’ll try. Because you may be smart, but I’ve been smart longer. And I earned my smart the hard way. So I hope you’ll at least hear me out, and learn from my regrets.

The thing is, your teens and early 20s are so much fun. It all feels new and exciting, full of hope. But there’s also a lot of pressure. Unlimited things vying for your time and attention. Voices coming from every which direction. Everyone wants a piece of you and not just any piece. The best piece. Your full academic effort, a fierce competitive performance. Never slack on your chores. Put your best employee foot forward. Choose the right college, the right career, and then get ALL the scholarships.

It’s impossible to maintain excellence in every arena. You’ll drop the ball here and there and your dad and I will try to provide grace when you do. But there is one area where we won’t tolerate you playing fast and loose:

Other people’s hearts.

Poor grades or performances aren’t permanent, but wounding a soul leaves a lasting mark. I wouldn’t want anyone to be reckless with your feelings, so I won’t put up with you being reckless with theirs. For their protection, certainly, but also yours. Regret is a heavy burden to bear.

All that said, when you find someone you want to spend your life with…I vow to be all in. She won’t be an in-law or outlaw, she’ll just be my daughter. A beloved one, at that. Mother-in-laws tend to be mocked as much as fathers in our society and I think that’s a shame. So I promise to do my best to buck the stereotypes.

 

 

Unless you choose a skank. In which case all that beloved stuff is out the window. ;)

 

 

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