#1,381 Sons.

Maybe it wasn’t a big a deal wherever you are reading these words, but there was a documentary last night on ESPN called The Book of Manning that everyone in my facebook newsfeed was talking about. Everyone in Mississippi loves Archie, whether or not you choose to love Ole Miss makes no difference. As an Ole Miss alum who is the daughter of an Ole Miss alum who is married to an Ole Miss alum, I was tuning in to watch just like everyone else, though I honestly wasn’t terribly interested. I knew a little bit about the Mannings—the basics—Archie, the superstar quarterback in college, his progeny—professional football legends. We all know the basics, right?

But a funny thing happened. Mama, this will interest you I’m sure. Ben and I have been talking about it all day. We can’t stop thinking about that dang movie. It was no sports documentary. It was the story of a family more than that. I cried a little bit. So.

Watching it made me want something that I’ve never really been able to feel with my heart. My head has always wanted to have good, productive, talented, kind children one day. Some day. But my heart hasn’t ever been in that, really. Mostly I can’t get past the horrifying things I’ve heard about childbirth and the weariness that comes with taking care of a baby. I’m shortsighted in that way. It’s very hard for me to feel anything about having children beyond that fearful time at the beginning.

But let me get back to where I was going—a funny thing happened. Hearing the story of this family, where the fearful parts are skipped (childbirth! babies!) and only the greatest things about having children were told, I felt my heart hurt a little bit for something I don’t yet have and have never really considered wholly. Seeing home videos of the Manning brothers at 3 and 5 years old, throwing the football with their daddy in the front yard, hurting each other’s feelings, then hugging each other, hearing their parents and seeing their joy talking about their sons, seeing those boys grow up and love each other the way I’ve always heard Ben talk about his relationship with his own brothers. And nothing in the world can get Ben choked up faster than televised emotional moments between brothers, sons and fathers. This movie tore. Him. Up.

Can you pick which one is Ben?

So seeing the Manning boys grow up and become men who just want to be “good men,” and the nurturing parents who, though they had every reason to be, are completely without arrogance makes me think… I want to do that.
The Mannings
I want to raise up “good men” some day. I want to be a part of making people who are better than me and better than Ben.

And for me, that’s really encouraging. I’m not ready yet, still. But it feels good to imagine, not babies and all their impermanence, but these people who do not yet exist, people I will be so proud of. People I will fall in love with and who will do things I could only dream of.


Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Daily Journal

5 thoughts on “#1,381 Sons.

  1. My boys are my pride and joy….and now that they are teens and I look back, those baby years were so fleeting. I only hope that we have done a good job raising them to be good men.


  2. I was wondering why my husband was so intently watching the Manning story last night! I should have stopped to watch. His beloved Colts borrowed Peyton for many years, so we are fans of the entire Manning family. Thanks for being so transparent in your post, I'm certain that is not always easy. Since I'm the mother of four, I immediately had all manner of prayers and encouragement that I could offer…but then realized that motherhood is as simple as this: In your over 1,300 daily posts (although I haven't read all) you have sought to seek the good, the Godly, the serene, the loving, the amazing and magical memory of each and every day. If you went back to most days, I bet you'd be hard-pressed to even remember what about that day didn't go well, or was difficult or tiresome. That Gift, that desire to find the good in every way imaginable makes you a great wife, daughter and friend. And someday…if God and you and Ben decide it to be so… the most amazing mother ever.

    • I'm so glad we "know" each other, Lisa. You inspire me all the time with your own story and your sweet words of encouragement. Sometimes it's a struggle to come up with a post, but sometimes (like this one!) I'm dying to talk about it with y'all!

  3. Erin, I would love to send this post to my daughter in-law, she says, I can not see a baby coming out of my body…my son and her have been married 10 years. I never dreamed they would not have children. I pray for God to change their hearts.

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