Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Manly Man

Lots of people have different definitions of a manly man - how long you can grow your beard, how much you can bench press, how much meat you can eat in one sitting, how much you can shoot, how long you can go without showering… While those things are parts of being a man (more than they'd like to admit), I don't think they make a real manly man. A manly man is ultimately defined by something much more outwardly valuable - his heart and action.

By my definition, my father-in-law encompasses the qualities of a manly man. Not only does he build things, lift things, fix things, mow things - you know, manly things - he has so many other manly qualities that are turned into heart-led actions. For one, he's super good at fitting in with kids because he carries a fun, carefree, child-like nature with him through life. That goes very well when he plays with Boston. One of my favorite moments of him and Boston is when he puts Boston in skiing motions with sound effects and all. Grandpa gets Boston started on his favorite sport and Boston gets a huge kick out it. It's a win-win.

Another thing that sets him apart as a manly man is that he can admit when he is wrong and make necessary changes (learning from his mistakes).  I feel that people often get defensive when their faults are pointed out, which makes it difficult to approach them with concerns and solutions. But my father-in-law's humility in his weaknesses has proven to be one of his greatest strengths. He's so approachable and makes it easy for others to put their trust in him. That's probably why it's so easy for us kids to talk to him about everything. I appreciate that so much.

But his manliest quality of all is that he will sacrifice time that he could be doing something else, to be with his family. He always tells us that family is the greatest blessing in his life. Such a great example. Thanks, Dad. We have many wonderful memories of chats around the dinner table (he cooks a mighty meal), impromptu ice cream runs, short getaways and drives around Utah. We just love being with him because we know we'll get tons of laughs and life hacks, whether we ask for them or not.

The greatest perk of all this manliness is that he passed those traits on to my husband, who is also very manly. My husband's love for me has made my life that much better. For that, I am so grateful for my father-in-law [and mother-in-law]. I hope that one day, Boston will acquire these wonderful manly traits from his daddy and grandpapa.

Well, we just celebrated this manly man's birthday this week. We took him to out a very manly place - Five Guys' Burgers (always his go-to choice) and got great fresh burgers and fries.We are pretty lucky to have him. Happy Birthday, Dad!

What qualities make a man a manly man? Please feel free to share your own. These are what our boys will grow up with, so make them good!

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