Big Boys Don't Cry ... Uh, Yeah They Do
I can remember my Uncle Curt telling me that big boys don't cry as he comforted me. On the surface, it would seem that I was being given a rule, a foundation to live my life upon. But in hindsight, I know that his message was a whole lot deeper ... Maybe deeper than he even knew.
Men are stereo typically notorious for hiding their feelings. And women are allegedly well known for wanting men to be more vulnerable with their feelings. In reality, when a man tries to be vulnerable, sometimes he gives too much away and gets labeled as too needy, too clingy or soft. That type of dichotomy is confusing as all get out. Which makes one think that Uncle Curt's advice was best. Don't cry, because big boys don't cry and never should cry, because your woman will think you're a punk and it only causes problems. But wait ... Let's probe a little deeper.
When Uncle Curt told me that big boys don't cry ... I'd fallen and hurt myself. I'd scraped my knee or my arm or something that required alcohol and a bandage. So in my six year old mind, I indeed had something to cry about.
When my uncle said these infamous words, he said them in a soothing manner. He said them with his arms around me, holding me close to his heart. And there was absolutely nothing hardcore or gangster about this moment. No "man up" or any other such gibberish. It was all about a "father's love" towards a nephew whose father wasn't around as much. It was compassion disguised as a mantra that many have chosen to take to heart.
I'm that guy who was predominately raised by a single mother. So perhaps I often see things slightly different than someone who had a father in their life 24/7. Meaning that possibly there was a lot more hugs and kisses in my scenario. But then again, my mind runs back to my uncle. A uncle by marriage who may have had more of a lasting effect on me than any other male in my life, including biological uncles.
I don't know ... But in my estimation, I could have easily chosen the hard way. I could have chosen cigarettes, drinking, drugs or gangs to fill in the empty spaces left in my life, but I didn't. Instead, I used Uncle Curt -- who I had seen cry before -- as my example. Not to mention television dads like MICHAEL LANDON''s Pa Ingalls to teach me important life lessons. That mixture of "manly tough" and compassion for others ...
Last night I went to church ... Saturday service ... Our pastor was out of town -- actually in Paris during a newsworthy tragedy. In his place was his brother, Reverend PHIL MUNSEY who spoke about feelings of inferiority, guilt and fear. How those emotions can sometimes prevent people from fulfilling their dreams and having a productive life. A very thought provoking sermon.
There was an older man behind me -- maybe in his 50s or early 60s. When he first entered the church he was very jovial, greeting a friend in a loud and boisterous manner; reminding me of the greetings of the supporting "pool room characters" featured on the classic sitcom, Sanford & Son.
During the sermon, he was very vocal: That's good Word!!, You're preaching now Pastor!! or Amen! Amen!
But towards the end of the sermon, when Pastor Munsey began speaking about self worth, how some don't feel like their life matters or that they are special ... The man began to weep ... Growing from soft, almost inaudible crying to a louder display that wasn't easy to ignore.
"Rev" asked us to pray at the end of the sermon. Not out of the ordinary. But as we prayed, we were instructed to put our hand on the shoulder of the person next to us. Myself, my wife and two other people instinctively reached out to touch this poor soul's shoulder.
His hands were covering his face as he continued to sob. Whatever he was going through, he was filled with shame for exposing his vulnerability openly. But I think that in the end, he felt the love being extended towards him by a band of strangers.
As service concluded, I shook his hand and gave him a hug ... I didn't really have words to offer him. Not that I didn't want to, I just didn't know what to say. But I hope that somehow I conveyed that he should feel no shame. That sometimes, big boys must cry.
Songs That Celebrate Dads
Father & A Friend - Crystal Lewis
You Gave Me Time - Paul Overstreet
Father To Son - Percy Bady
Daughter To Father - Lindsay Lohan
Daddy - Beyonce
Daddy's Little Girl - Michael Bolton
Daddy's Hands - Holly Dunn
Daddy's Home - Jermaine Jackson
Watching You - Rodney Atkins
Cleaning This Gun - Rodney Atkins
Kacy - Daniel Winans
Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
Love Thing - BeBe Winans
Daddy's Come Around - Paul Overstreet
Seeing My Father In Me - Paul Overstreet
Richest Man On Earth - Paul Overstreet
Butterfly Kisses - Bob Carlisle
Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn
Teddy Bear - Jackson Southernaires
Charge It To My Head - Commissioned
Drive - Alan Jackson
Dance With My Father - Luther Vandross
Just The Two of Us - Will Smith
Song For Dad - Keith Urban
Good Man - India Arie
My Father's Eyes - Bruce Springsteen
Father's Eyes - Amy Grant
The Living Years - Mike & The Mechanics
Merry Go Round - Jon Gibson
Beautiful Boy - John Lennon
Cats In The Cradle - Harry Chapin
Daughters - John Mayer
I Learned From You - Miley Cyrus
The Greatest Man I Ever Knew - Reba McEntire
There Goes My Life - Kenny Chesney
Cinderella - Steven Curtis Chapman
It Won't Be Like This For Long - Darius Rucker
4Him - For Future Generations
Don't Blink - Kenny Chesney
Letter To Me - Brad Paisley
You're Gonna Miss This - Trace Adkins
One Boy, One Girl - Collin Raye
I Love You This Much - Jimmy Wayne
4Him - Measure of A Man
U Will Know - Black Men United
I'm Already There - Lonestar
Mr. Mom - Lonestar
My Front Porch Looking In - Lonestar
New Edition - Boys To Men
He Didn't Have To Be - Brad Paisley
My Daddy Never Was - Randy Travis
Don't Take The Girl - Tim McGraw
My Little Girl - Tim McGraw
I Loved Her First - Heartland
His Dream - Asher Roth
© 2019 LaZeric Freeman