Our whole world changed the moment the ultrasound tech tapped those three little words across the image on the screen: “It’s a boy”.

In that moment, our hearts found a new reason to beat.

In that moment, our dreams became our future.

And in that moment, we took the unspoken oath of responsibility that parents of sons do.

Because in all of the smallest moments of each of our days, the truth is this: We’re not just raising little boys—we’re raising men.

Little boys who love their mamas grow up to be men who cherish their wives.

The kind of men who know that loyalty, affection, and perseverance are invaluable, and that although marriage isn’t easy, it is so worth it. They sense that this life is meant for walking hand-in-hand and that’s exactly what they intend to do through every valley and over every mountain, until in death do they part.

Little boys who don’t get everything they ask for grow up to be men who know the value of hard work.

They understand the things worth having in this life are the things worth fighting for, and fight they will. Once they set their sights on a dream, they’ll work tirelessly until they’re holding it in the palm of their hands.

Little boys who sit with the lonely kid in the cafeteria grow up to be men who value humanity.

They’re the type who know the worth of human beings doesn’t lie in skin color, family ties, or wallets. They believe every life is valuable and that sometimes the strongest bonds can be formed in the most unlikely of places. They are forever reaching out and lifting up, because they believe in a world that’s stronger when we come together.

Little boys who share their toys grow up to be men who are generous and kind.

The kind of men who will order an extra sandwich for the homeless woman in the parking lot or stay up all night talking on the phone with a friend who just needs a listening ear. They’re the ones who put the needs of others before their own and who realize blessings multiply best when their seeds are thrown out in bulk.

Little boys who confess to a broken window grow up to be men of integrity.

They’re the kind who own their mistakes and wear their lessons learned like badges. They’re the ones who apologize freely, who won’t hesitate to say, “I’m sorry,” as they ask for forgiveness and promise to be better—and better they will truly strive to be.

Little boys who say “please” and “thank you” grow up to be men who exude respect.

The kind who hold doors open and let strangers cut in front of them in line at the grocery store. They’re the ones who give up their seats for the elderly, remove their hats when they walk into buildings, and pick up checks on first dates—without hesitation, every time.

Little boys who throw their trash away and put their dishes in the sink grow up to be men who appreciate the efforts of others.

They’re the ones who know even small things sometimes take big effort, and that a well-placed “thank you” can mean the difference between someone feeling valued or taken for granted.

These sons of ours? Let us never, ever forget that they grow up to be men.

It’s a big responsibility, this raising little boys thing. But if we do it right—if we succeed— we will gift the world with a generation of men that will utterly and completely change it.

A generation that will courageously step up to the plate as someday, they look their own newborn sons in the eyes for the very first time and take that same unspoken oath of responsibility.

If we succeed, then they, too, will know how to raise their little boys to be good men . . .

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My Heart Was Waiting For A Son

Mothering Boys is a Work of the Heart

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Casey Huff

Casey is a middle school teacher turned stay-at-home-mama to three littles. It's her mission as a writer to shine light on the beauty and chaos of life through the lenses of motherhood, marriage, and mental health. To read more, go hang out with Casey at: Facebook: Bouncing Forward Instagram: @bouncing_forward