When it comes to my personal life choices, my dad is a man of few words.
When he speaks, I listen. I don’t listen in preparation of how I’ll reply. I just simply listen.
Whatever he has to say falls under two categories: something I needed to hear that no one can say to me in any better shape, or something I already know deep inside but had dismissed in the name of compromise or fear.
I can try to stack up adjectives in hopes to describe my dad, but they’ll never be a tall enough pile to reach the highest regards I’ve placed him at.
Two words. My dad is a guiding light.
He’s a guide for all the obvious reasons but he’s a light because of the way he moves through life with serenity and always with a hope to bring out the shine in everything he touches.
I’ve learned countless lessons from his wisdom over the past 25 years. They were all served with composure and patience. Except for one.
One day my dad grew tired of hearing me talk about boys as if they were men.
So, he did what he does best.
He told me that a man is a man of his word. A man is never afraid of apologizing for what he does wrong.
A man is never afraid of showing emotions because he’s learned to turn them into strength, not weakness.
A man is the man of his own kingdom where power is not monopolized. It’s exercised with two beating hearts that he protects with sweat and blood.
A man is a man in the way he proves every minute that chivalry is not dead.
A man is a man of loyalty.
He knows that the person he shares a life with is never meant to need him, only meant to choose him every day.
A man stands in the spotlight when it’s his turn and backstage when it’s not.
A man trusts, empowers, and supports. One does not cancel out the other. What’s expected of him is plenty, and plenty he can handle.
And never a man with no fears.
A man has the ability to realize that the person they share a life with can become so much more than they are if loved in the right way.
He told me what it meant to be a man. Then he told me that it all applied to me as a woman.
So, I felt the need to apologize to all the boys whom I helped believe they’ve become men.