When I was raising my son, I wanted him to grow up and be a sensitive guy. It was okay with me if he cried, which he rarely did and he always claimed that “it didn’t hurt.”
When he was about 9 or 10, I decided to start a new morning ritual while driving him to school. I had hoped that he would remember it someday and pass it along to his children.
This is what I wrote and said to him everyday: “Be strong and gentle, brave and kind, be the best BJ you can be, with body, soul and mind.”
BJ got married this past February, before leaving for his second tour of duty to Iraq. This big, strong Marine in his dress blues, started to become very emotional as his bride came forward to meet him. The tears ran down his face as his bride joined hands with him.
He pulled it together to be able to give his vows. When it was all over, he cried while hugging his mom, his mom’s partner, and his grandmother. He seemed to be doing fine until his mom stood up to toast the newly married couple. Again the tears flowed.
I have never seen my son cry so much in his life. I still can’t get over it. I don’t know why I am surprised when he turns out like I had hoped he would be!
Oh yes, he gave me a gift after the wedding. It was obvious he was excited. It was a beautiful, cherry wood jewelry box, with this engraving: “Be strong, mind, body and soul.” Gosh, I love that kid.