I Was Raised a Typical Boy

I had a typically boy upbringing, not saying it was right, but I was told big boys don’t cry.  To this day, it takes a lot for me to show emotion (to my wife’s dismay).  This is a preamble to what happened at the end of my vacation.

My parents divorced when I was seven or eight and my mother felt the need to move us to Florida.  I understand that it was because she had family in Florida that could help her and us three kids.  It wouldn’t be until many many many years later that I realized that my father had no idea that was coming.  He never mentioned it when we would visit and he never spoke ill of my mother.  Quite the contrary on the other hand.

During my trip to see him in August 2009, we were sitting in his living room when he said I have something I want to give you and if I don’t do it now I will forget.  I had no clue what it could be.  He stood up and started rummaging through a little cabinet and pulled out a very old photo album.  He scanned through it and found an old photo from a photo booth of him and my mom.  I am pretty sure my mom destroyed any pictures she may have had of him, so this was very precious to me and a very welcomed surprise.  We then looked through some of the other photos of him at a very tough time.  He was in Vietnam and of course looked much different than he does today.

On the day I got home from vacation, I called to let him know I arrived safely and to thank him again for the picture.  We had a great talk and at the end he told me he was proud of me.  I think that may be the first time I have heard that from him.  We hung up moments later and I sat on the couch very happy with tears in my eyes.  I sat with it for a couple of minutes and then got up to do some chores in the kitchen.

I continued to think about it and had more tears come to me.  At that time my wife had come out of the bedroom, and I just couldn’t hold them back.  I was full out crying, she was terrified that something horrible had happened, and I was trying to tell her everything was ok, but I just couldn’t get the words out.  She hugged me for a minute or so until I could mutter the words, “He told me he was proud of me…”

Thank you dad! 

12 replies on “I Was Raised a Typical Boy”

This is a beautiful entry that captures a profound moment in your life. You do a good job of illustrating the sentiment —pride — and what it means to you to know your dad is proud of you. I'm happy he finally said these important words and only wish they had come sooner for you.
The pictures of your dad and mom reminded me of something that I think many children of divorce can relate to. As a child I was always acutely aware that my parents hated each other. Then there was a moment a few years ago when I was stopped at a red light in traffic and out of the blue (and for the first time ever) it occured to me that there was a time when my mom and dad loved each other. They had been in love. The realization was jolting. It still is in some ways….
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I understand why the pictures are so precious to you.

Hey Melissa,

Thank you so much for the comment on this. I agree, it is jolting to realize that our parents were once in love. I have a new post that I am putting the finishing touches on and will have up tonight. There were some things in this post that have hurt my mom, that I need to write about. Plus she went and did something HUGE for me.

Oh my godness!! uncle john is that nana and grandpa congdon when they were like….i don't know….. 27 or something. I don't like seeing or here about you crying even if you are three hours from here i don't like it. Now im going to cry. i love you and aunt jackie. i hope to

p.s. lol,lylas,wth(what the heck),rofl,brb,w8,cuz,ttyl,btw,omg,no,y,r,c,u,cn't,…aaaaa im kinda stuck.remember when we went bowling and we made up thing like aaaa nevermind you know what i mean..any way love you

Hey You!!!!

Yes, there were… I don't know…. 27 or something. 🙂

I have grown to learn that crying is not a bad thing. I think it is terrible that we teach our little girls that it's ok to cry, but tell our little boys that "real men don't cry." Emotions are important, and if you don't take the time to learn how to deal with them, they will tend to manifest themselves in other ways (i.e. anger).

I love and miss you much. Can't wait to see you, Johnny, and your mother.


A combination between hello and hey. What about that! I made my own word yay! So the reason why I am typing back is because I have no clue what manifest is? O never mind I didn't finish reading… does it mean anger because i would have never knew that. Guess what i got my intrume to day and I got 2 A's, 4 B's and 1 C. I'm kind of upset about the C but I have always going to be bad and readikng and always has been bad at reading. I got a new bike for my birthday just incase you didn't know. And it is white with red on it. It is awesome anyways talk to you soon love you and Aunt Jackie. Bye

O and I forgot to tell you that i am in corus right. Well I have a bing concert coming up this saturday the 26. It is at IRSC and if i don't hear from you or aunt jackie in time I know you will hope i do great at…..and if you don't hope that I do great then you better hide if we colme up for christmas. Love you.


Nice word, I like it. 😀

I would strongly recommend looking up words in a dictionary when you don't know what they mean. It will help you grow a bigger vocabulary. When something is "manifested" it is made obvious or clear. And what I mean by that was, just because boys are often told "Real men don't cry" doesn't mean that will keep the emotion away. The real emotion is often revealed through anger (or another emotion) instead of tears.

I talked to Nana, and she says that I was a very emotional boy. What I told her is that may be true, but we are raised by more than just our parents. We venture out into the world with friends and other people that are part of our lives. We may learn "Real men don't cry" or other socially unacceptable things in many ways, not just from our parents.

As for your chorus concert, that is AWESOME. I wish I would have known sooner so that we could make arrangements to come down there. We definitely hope that you do GREAT, I am sure you will.

Good job on your Interim report, I am sure that you are very proud. I am sure that you will turn that C around now that you know about it. That is the good thing about Interim reports, they show you where you need to improve. They are not your final grade.

Aunt Jacki and I love you very much. Tell Johnny and Mommy that we love and miss them too. We can't wait to see you all again.

I am so jealous of you! I am very glad you have the relationship you do with (your) father. I have never and will never have that with him. Instead I get told that he "donated his sperm to create a selfish little bitch" I hope all is well on your end and if I were you I would talk to mom about this….she is very upset by it. I know you didn't mean it the way mom took it but you know mom….I love you and I hope to see you and Jacki soon. Jayden is getting huge and you wouldn't believe how big he is getting. I love you so very much and I miss you just the same.


I know we just spoke on the phone, but I did forget to mention something. I obviously will never know what has truly transpired between you and dad. I don't place blame, I just feel badly for both of you. Having talked to him (VERY VERY BRIEFLY) he has mentioned that he feels bad and also feels like he has reached out unsuccessfully. But I will leave that between the two of you 🙂

Thanks for the fowl language on my blog too…. Always nice to have here. 😀

Can't wait to see you and the kids. Tell them I miss them!

Hi Uncle John,

Sorry I haven't been on lately because I have some pretty important stuff going on in school. I had a D in reading but I have already brought it up to a high B. The thing that makes me laugh is that the words above are the words we are learning in school. 8th grade is very difficult. I think that my best subject right I now is math and I have always been good in math. Reading isn't the best even know I have a B and Language Arts isn't the best either. I have a High C in that class. But I am trying to bring up my grade's. Well I will see you on my birthday or if you see you before that like for my graduation for the 8 grade. It is on june 10th so I better see you there. I love you lots and will talk to you soon. OMG TTYL

BYY!!! 🙂 Reply..( I like talking on here its free unlike a cell phone. lol)

Happpy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday dear Aunt Jackie
Happy Birthday to you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I'm sorry we couldn't make it but I love you and wish you the best birthday ever. I love you lots. And I will make the effort to talk to you soon.

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