dudes crying. dude’s crying. dude, is, crying. This dude, has been crying uncontrollably for the last hour about how wonderful my son is. I'll recall for you what happened and it won't need much more then that. We went to a father son thing about fatherhood and raising sons of integrity ; youth group sorta stuff, a good mix of message, prayer, and fun. The part I wasn't ready for was the label breaking. We had a part where we talked about labels; labels placed on you by others and that you know who you are and you know who God wants you to be and that no one else knows that and can define those labels, those gifts you've been given.


So for this part, your supposed to ask each other what a label people have given you has been (this is admittedly geared toward like 7-15 years old so that's more like teenager question). So I asked him if anyone's said anything mean to him or called him a name at school and he said no (we had very different school experiences apparently already). So I thought and went, ok, well I'm going to label you Smart and wrote smart on a duct tape (sticker) and placed it on him. Without being asked, he grabbed the pen and wrote on my sticker "Loved" with tears in his eyes he put it on me. I asked why he was crying (afterwards) and he told me "sometimes when people say really nice things about me I feel like... I feel so happy that I start to cry".


After this we sat and listened and watched some more. Heard some good stories about integrity (that cheez wiz has none) and how society will tell you that "being a real man" is about money, power, influence, attractiveness, having a wife; and that that's not what's really important. That it's what's on the inside, the person behind the labels and the "things" and the attractiveness that really matters. It was an uplifting message that we all have a role to play and that it's not what you have on the outside but how you live your life that really matters. We had to leave early because of school early in the morning so we waited for intermission and headed out. The building was on top of a hill overlooking the valley and it was very dark up there outside of the parking lot. As we walked toward the car I scooped him up on my shoulders and instead walked toward a pond in the dark. He wanted to know where we were going and I said he'd see when we got there. As we got beyond the flood lights of the parking lot I told him to stop and look up. The sky lit up with far more stars then we see at our house. “woahhhh there’s so many” he said. "You see those?" “Yes poppa” “I love you more then the stars in this sky” “wow… that’s so nice… I love you more then the stars in the sky… plus 2” “when I’m older like… 8 and your 54; I’ll still love you cause your the best poppa” I've been the happiest wreck I've been probably since he was born.