to my sons...

I was afraid to be a mother of boys. I always wanted a large family, but with all the "boys will be boys" stories I'd heard I was perfectly content to have a house full of daughters. After several years enjoying your two older sisters, I found myself desiring a son. Little did I know that I would soon have three sons in a span of less than four years.

The three of you turned my world upside down in ways I never expected. I have been overwhelmed at your kind and authentic spirits. When others have praised our parenting skills I have quickly let them know I can't take credit for who you are. I feel like you were born with all this goodness that as your mother I have had the privilege to help nurture.

Through the years I found myself defending the reputation of boys when I would hear the typical comments from people. I would feel frustrated and confused with the "He's 100% ALL boy" comment. I was never sure how to take that... so was my son who wasn't acting the same as your "100% boy" son not 100% boy?

Which brings me to the point of this letter...

I watched the 2nd Presidential Debate for our upcoming election last night with the hope of a honest and heart felt apology from the candidate that had made some very disturbing comments towards women.

Your mother didn't get that apology last night. Instead she got "I apologize...I'm not proud of it, but this is locker room talk."  I probably could handle it better if it was just him, but it's even more disheartening to see other men defending it as "just how guys talk".

So just in case you boys are not clear on it...this is NOT acceptable guy talk...it's not!

You would go off on someone if you heard them talk or act towards your mother or sisters in this manner. So don't let culture dull down what it means to be a man. Don't buy into objectifying women to where all you see is body parts.

Don't get me wrong. You were made to desire a woman. After you were created it was your creator that said it wasn't good for you to be alone. So do you really think breasts and butts is what he felt Adam needed? Or was it the heart and soul of a woman he needed to stand beside him in this world?

You've been raised by a father that elevates women so I know that some of this is unfamiliar thinking to you...but unfortunately these beliefs and actions are very much part of our culture today.

So as your mother I am trusting you to be men that not only stand along side women, but men who hear the sound of women and shout it louder.

Women are your biggest allies sons.

They need you and you need them.

Don't ever forget their voice is worth fighting for.

love you forever,

Mom