I’m a firm believer it takes a village to raise a child. Here is a tribute to all the brothers, uncles, dads, step-dads, friends, neighbors, mentors and all those men who have chosen to be a positive influence in a child’s life.
While visiting my grandchildren recently,
And evening chores were started,
I smiled within myself as I heard, once again,
“I. Don’t. Like it.”
Then suddenly my little one faced me,
And pointing across the room,
With bold disdain this child proclaimed,
“That Man told me to soak this bowl in water.
He knows it’s gonna make my job take longer.”
I wasn’t trying to interfere, really I wasn’t.
I respect the authority of the home,
But this statement was balling up inside of me.
So, I captured the moment and let my heart flow.
Be still, my love, I want you to listen, can your little ears hear me?
With acknowledgement and full attention, then, I continued.
When you speak to That Man,
You will show respect,
You will not be rude,
You will be still and listen to what he has to say.
That Man is not here in the by and by,
That Man is attentive and awake.
He has earned his place in your life,
And he has committed to make you feel safe.
That Man knows the value
Of working hard each day, that
Nothing good in this world is free.
And yes, my love, He’s teaching you
With “chores” you love to hate.
That Man works very hard,
To give you a warm place to rest.
That Man sacrificed hopes and dreams,
To help make your life the best.
That Man shows you he cares,
By asking “How goes your day today?”
That Man shows his patience,
As he teaches you something new each day.
That Man shows his courage
To ride the waves of change,
And helps you overcome
The challenges you face.
That Man’s life honors God,
This is plain for all to see.
That Man knows a woman is to be honored,
She is God’s gift to him, do you see?
That Man honors his word to God,
And shows you by his example,
Loving your mom is not solely with words,
But also by his actions.
That Man battles stress and heartache,
You’ll never know how much,
That Man comes to the aid of others,
My love, have I said enough?
In a world where honor, truth and dignity
Face the fiery attack of progression,
That Man knows ultimately,
They still pave the way to freedom,
So listen child, please listen,
Never forget these lessons.
I saw my little one’s eyes well up, I saw the heartfelt grace,
“So, little one, do you still think soaking that bowl in water
Makes his joy so complete by making you work harder?
Take a moment, take a look, and from this bowl of water glean.”
That Man knows you will face choices,
That will be difficult to make.
That Man is teaching you to stop and think,
So not a hasty decision you make.
Just as filling a food-crusted bowl with water
Helps loosen the dried food with ease,
Filling your heart with truth and restraint,
Will loosen temptations filled with lies and deceit.
That Man is trying to teach you
How to navigate through this life.
So, allow this water of understanding
To fill the bowl of your heart and mind.
Listen to my words,
Let wisdom bring you peace.
May the efforts of That Man
In your heart, forever be seen.
That Man, though tired as he may be,
Kneels before the Perfect Father.
Seeking wisdom, mercy and grace,
He asks God how to care for the family,
He has been so richly blessed to embrace.
That Man loves you, little one,
And one day you will see,
That Man does so much more,
Because greatness in you he sees.
One day, when you’re all grown up,
And life has thrown you a curve,
Stop and think about that water filled bowl,
And the wisdom that you learned from
By Katrina Stanley