Let’s settle something once and for all: Boys are allowed to have feelings, too.
I know you are uncomfortable with a boy who cries. I know you cringe to see a sad boy walking. I know you can’t stand to see a man barely able to crawl from his bed because of the darkness hanging over his head.
I watched my brother shake your hand, society, but I didn’t fully understand it until I had six boys of my own.
These boys in my home are full of emotions, and those feelings leak out their eyes when they’re told they can’t bring a book to the lunch table, because they’d rather bury themselves in a book than talk with friends about video games they don’t play; and they climb out their mouths when that playing time passes way too fast and they’re not ready, not at all, for the clean-up time; and they hide behind frustration when they just can’t execute that flip as perfectly as they want.
I know what you would tell them, society.
Forget about it.
It’s not that bad.
We’ll give you something to cry about.
Man up, because men don’t cry.
And there they go, walking around with their emotions trapped by your damn, so they’re ticking time bombs, and you shake your heads in disgust when you read of those young men walking out on their families because disengagement is easier than feeling the sorrow of alienation or the frustration of a crying child or the disappointment of a rocky family that points to a rocky marriage.
You are stealing life from these boys, society.
You whisper it behind your hands: Wow. He’s really sensitive. Dramatic. Easily upset about so little.
And you shout it in their faces: Be someone different.
And you tell them a thousand other ways that men don’t feel because they’re men, dammit.
But here’s the thing, society: Real men do cry. Real men do feel. Real men talk and grieve and walk with vulnerable hearts instead of clenched-tight ones. Maybe we see a brave new world, a world where boys stand with an emotional vocabulary and aren’t afraid to use it, where boys honor and value their emotional lives as rich windows to their souls, where boys unclench those precious, magnificent hearts.
Where men can be real men. and they can have emotions too. DONT MANCRIMINATE !!