The measure of a man....

How do you define a man?  Is he the provider of your household?  Is he that person that can fix anything and everything?  Is he strong?  Smart?  Funny?  Sexy?  I would say yes to all of the above because that is my sweet husband, each of the things I listed is one of the many reasons why I love him.  WAIT!!!  Don't go away...I promise this isn't a gushy (I love my husband) blog...though I DO!!!  This is a blog about a MAN before he becomes a man.

My teenage son (the Jolly Green Giant aka The Beast) proved to me and his father and hopefully the coaches at his school that he is a MAN!  You see while my eldest son is handsome and smart and artistic.  He isn't necessarily athletic...however he CAN swim like a fish but that's another blog.  So when he tried out for basketball last year  and didn't make it he was bummed!  It was his first time to have to try out for something.  That first is the WORST!  But his friends rallied around him and asked him to be their manager so he could still hang out with them.  So he did and he was great at it (servants heart) and he enjoyed it. 

Cut to a year later and tryouts are once again upon us.  Day one of tryouts comes filled with "Just go for it!"  "Don't over think!"  "React!"  Those were his father's words mine..."I believe in you!"  "You are so great!"  "I love you so much!"  Sound like your house?  Well that sweet boy gets picked up by his father and walks in that door with head hung low and sad brown eyes.  "I didn't do good, ones and twos." (these are evidently bad).  "Day two of tryouts is tomorrow and that's when they'll make first cuts.  Coach said I'm probably not gonna make it.  I think I'm gonna ask to be manager again."  His father and I tell him we support him no matter what he decides.

Next morning we are in the kitchen and I ask what his plans are.  "I'm gonna go to tryouts but just to ask to be manager, I don't see the point in trying out today."  Again I tell him I support him.  We drive to school in semi-silence, both of our hearts are breaking and as he exits the vehicle I again give the words of encouragement and pride and they are true!  I tell him to call me when he is ready for me to pick him up from tryouts.  I drive the 5 minutes to work praying for this sweet gentle giant with the huge heart and tender spirit.  That evening, I wait and wait and wait for the phone to ring, it doesn't so I drive up there when tryouts are over.  He climbs into my car and says, "I didn't make first cut and they already have two managers."  What?

I ask him to start from the beginning and explain.  "So when I walk into the cafeteria this morning I see Coach and I go up to him and tell him that I know I probably wont make the team but I would like to be manager again.  Coach says that they already have two boys who asked to be manager but if one of them quits that he'll let me know.  (Insert a mother's sinking heart here.)  So I think for a second and then tell him that even though I probably wont make the team I would like to show up today and finish tryouts.  He says he thinks that's a great idea."  (Insert a mother's soaring heart here!)  So as this wonderful young MAN tells me this story I can't help but think what an amazing person he is!  I mean here is a boy who realizes he wont make the team but wont give up!  Destined to go back and give it one more shot even though he in his heart knows he has NOTHING to gain!  Well you can imagine how hard it is for me to drive with the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat.  I tell him I'm so very proud of him and that he is just the most awesome kid in the world and gush gush gush!

So a day goes by and of course EVERYONE at work has had to hear this story (sorry bout that guys) and still my heart is just breaking for this kid and yet its bursting with pride for this MAN!  Jump to Thursday and that sweet boy once again folds himself into my car after a long day and says (with a huge grin) "Well your gonna have to pick me up from school late starting tomorrow!" 
"What's goin' on buddy?"  I ask.
"Well, I saw coach in the hallway carrying two Sonic cups and I jokingly said 'Awe Coach, you shouldn't have!'  And Coach laughs and says 'How's it going?' and I say 'Good!' and he says 'We have an opening for manager, you interested?' and I say 'Yea!' and he says, 'Great, you can start tomorrow!'" 
Well you can imagine that again I can't drive for the tears in the eyes and the lump in the throat, as I choke out, "You excited Bub?"
"Yea!"

And that my friends is what you call a MAN!!!  He may only have to shave once a week, he may not be able to vote or even drive but he is a MAN! 

So what is my definition of a MAN?  One that doesn't give up even when he has every reason to, one that gives it his all even when all looks lost, one that wants to be a part of the team even if he won't be the star!

What's your measure of a MAN?

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