Little boys don’t need toughened up.
Little boys don’t need to have their emotions dismissed.
Little boys don’t need to be told to stop crying.
Little boys don’t need to be encouraged to mask their fears or hide their worries.
Little boys don’t need to be forced to “suck it up.”
Little boys need comforted.
Little boys need nurtured.
Little boys need told that their feelings are valid.
Little boys need to know that crying is normal and natural and good.
Little boys need taught how to properly manage their emotions.
Little boys need reminded that vulnerability is a gift, not something to fear.
Because little boys need to know how to comfort others.
And little boys need to know what it looks like to empathize with someone else’s pain.
And little boys need to be able to trust that they won’t be mocked for sharing what’s on their hearts.
And little boys need to understand that it’s OK to admit they’re not OK.
So, sometimes, little boys will be afraid of bugs in the backyard and need their foot held by a big, strong man who grasps what a beautifully heavy burden it is to raise little boys that way.
Because that’s what little boys deserve.