A father tells his son a story about how his mother helped to show him that being a man is not always what it seems.
The hardest part about being a man in this society is to always keep my poker face at all times, showing no emotion to anyone, because showing emotion would make me “less of a man,” or so everyone says. Sadly, it’s kind of true because I wouldn’t be crying in front of a woman unless she’s someone close to me, someone such as my mother, aunt, or my sister.
I remember when I was in sixth grade and I kept getting picked on and I got into a fight that wasn’t my fault. It started when some kids started calling me names, like fat ass, bum, pig. It was getting tiring because it was going on every day at school. It felt like the whole school was against me and the teachers weren’t doing anything about it until I got into the fight. One kid, the biggest and the loudest one in the crowd, kept agitating me. He wouldn’t stop calling out my name, so I grabbed him by his shirt and threw him against the locker. And then I tried to fight everyone else until the teacher came and took me to the office. They called my mother.
When she took me home to talk about the whole situation, I started telling her about everything from the very beginning, from the first day of school—the name calling, the bullying, all the racist and fat jokes. She was shocked because she was a popular kid and she never thought that her son would have any problems growing up. I just started crying and she told me: “Don’t let words hurt you. You have a good heart.” She just let me cry, she let me have those feelings. She understood that I was getting bullied and she was sad that I had to grow up like that in school. This moment in my life was very important to me because before I would never say anything to my mom, but now I can express myself to my mother and tell her how I feel without being judged.