To my sons,
It seems you grow taller by the day. Stronger. Smarter. More aware of everything. I have no more babies.
Your personality, style, and sense of humor are evolving. You’re making friends and learning to be one. You’re refining your interests — sports, clubs, the arts ... girls.
<p>You’ve hit that age when we can no longer hide the world from you, nor you from it.</p><p>The turning point comes suddenly. No more scripting, hovering, or follow-up.</p><p>You’re officially a young man. You face your own monsters now. You make your own choices, and must live with them.</p><h2> As your parents, we want this for you. We want you to dream, work, plan, partner, and use every good thing you are to create a life worth loving. We want you to be successful and happy and independent.</h2><p>But I have to be honest. As your mother, I want more.</p><p><strong>In this world where women and girls still struggle for equal regard and opportunity, I want your help ... and your commitment.</strong></p><p>I want you to use your maleness to create safe spaces for women and girls.</p><p>I want you to be the voice of reason when we’re treated unreasonably, and the hand of friendship when a friend is hard to find.</p><p>If you hear other boys laugh about violating girls, I want you to refuse to play along. If necessary, I want you to remove yourself from not only the situation, but also from people who get their joy from others’ pain. </p><h2>Son, I want you to be the one. The brave one who stands up. The honorable one who protects and respects women.</h2><p>The kind one who remembers — when it matters most — his sisters and mothers and grandmothers and aunts who may have taught him well, but who loved him even more.</p><p>I want you to be that one. Because if a man is only as good as the good he does, he is made better by the good he <em>is.</em></p><p>Be the one, Son. </p><p>Not just for me. For all of us.</p>
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