The world is going to tell you all the ways you should be and that being sensitive is too much. Too much crying, too many feelings, too many emotions, too much compassion, too much heart isn’t a good fit. That you are a man and you must never show too much of those things. That you must be tough and not cry and that you must fit this mold.

The world is going to tell you a lot of lies, my sensitive son

The people who tell you that you are too much, my son, are the ones you need to walk away from. The ones who tell you how you should be my son are the ones who are too afraid to fly and will keep you glued to the ground when you were meant to soar in this world. 

The world is going to tell you how a man should look, but you are here to tell the world that looks don’t matter

As your mother I’ve watched you befriend kids in your class who stood alone. I’ve listened as you came home crying because another kid in your class wasn’t being treated kindly. I’ve sat with you for hours and come up with ideas when you asked why some kids don’t have food and instead of simply asking you said, “Mom, what can I do to help?” You didn’t go silent, you didn’t ask who was helping them, YOU wanted to step up and help them. You didn’t care about your age or tell me that helping a stranger would be too much. Instead, you stepped up when you felt like the world around you wasn’t doing enough for kids in need. You’ve taught me so much about truly seeing this world in a different light and with a different heart. 

The world is going to tell you that you can’t help. That the problems are too big of a burden for your little heart, but I want you to know that little hands and hearts can make the biggest impact on the hurt and broken.

I want you to know that growing up to be a sensitive man with a kind heart, and being a thoughtful friend and caring husband and father will be something the world tells you not to be. The world will tell you to be strong and tough and firm. That being someone who gives with his whole heart to those who can never repay him; hearing a story of a stranger in need and having your heart stirred so much you are willing to do anything to help instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else to do what’s right first; sitting with the broken and crying with the hurt and all those other things in between—they’ll say it isn’t a man’s job. The world is right about that my son; all those things aren’t a man’s job—they’re a human being’s job. 

All those things will cause the world to tell you that you are just too much, too sensitive, too giving, too soft. But the world has it wrong, my son, not you. You are never too much, and, in my eyes, you are exactly what this world needs more of and I will forever be so thankful that I get to be your mom.

Nikki Pennington

Nikki is a stay at home mom to three, high spirited boys. Three years ago she became a motherless daughter after losing her own mom to terminal brain cancer. When she is not playing the role of referee for the boys, she spends her days trying to encourage and inspire others that are on the grief journey. Read more from Nikki on her blog: