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Big Boys Don't Cry ... Uh, Yeah They Do

Updated on March 22, 2020
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Educator, Pop Culture junkie, Orange Chicken devourer and huge Gilmore Girls fan ... Whew!


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.

me and Dad at Uncle Curt's house
me and Dad at Uncle Curt's house | Source

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 ...

Me and 3 out of 4
Me and 3 out of 4 | Source

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

My boys with Country singer, Rodney Atkins in Florida
My boys with Country singer, Rodney Atkins in Florida

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


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