I got an awesome handwritten letter from my son, Dallas. He took the initiative. One of the best moments yet between me and him. One I won’t forget. I did not expect the letter. It was unprompted and genuine. He spoke from the heart. It touched me deeply.
It all started when I bought him the book, Every Young Man’s Battle. I thought the book could serve as a healthy framework for me to discuss sex with him. It came highly recommended by my good friend and colleague, Marty Muchnok, who used it with every young man who wanted to date his daughter. By the way, there is a companion book, Every Young Woman’s Battle. Both books provide strategies for victory in the real world of sexual temptation. They are the most honest and forthright resources on teen and young adult sexuality out there.
Dallas is 14 years old. Testosterone is flowing. Temptation is ubiquitous. His mind is fertile. It’s the battleground for his thoughts, both good and bad. His mind does not care what he plants, but it will return what he plants. There is so much “bad stuff” he is exposed to I can’t control. What I can control, however, is an open, healthy, constructive relationship and conversation with his dad, an adult he respects, trusts, loves and knows has his best interests at heart. He calls me “Pops”.
I must admit. “Pops” was nervous. Sex is not an inherently easy subject to discuss with your son. Growing up, my father, brothers and friends followed what the book calls the “Sexual Code of Silence”. The code states it’s OK to joke about sex or even lie about it, but other than that, it’s your solemn duty, as a male, to keep silent whenever a serious discussion about sex takes place.
Nonetheless, I mustered enough strength to ask Dallas if he’d like to talk with me about sex and use the book as a tool to help us do that. If so, then I proposed the following format:
- Small group – just me and him
- A brief, weekly reading assignment (1-2 chapters from the book)
- Set aside 15-30 minutes each Sunday afternoon around 2 pm to chat
- Use the book’s companion workbook for some Q&A
- In 12-ish weeks, we’d get through the book, at our pace
I attempted to make the invitation warm and decision easy. It was not something I required, but hoped he would do with me. It was his choice. I conveyed we’d make it fun and meaningful. He accepted.
After the second week’s chat, Dallas handed me the letter. In it, he describes a lollipop moment, a moment when someone does something very influential in someone else’s life.
“Dad, hey, I’m writing this letter to let you know that you are a selfless person and I am grateful for that. I am grateful that you spend money on things that seem stupid to you, but are exciting for us [Dallas and his sister, Jarah]. I am grateful that you go out and get things for us even if you are tired. Plus, I am grateful for giving me a lollipop moment. A lollipop moment is a moment when someone does something very influential in someone else’s life. That lollipop moment for me was when we sat down and talked about that book you got me. I’ve been reading it and I have taken information from it that I will use my entire life.”
PS, Love You, Dallas
Wow. Not only did Dallas teach me what a lollipop moment was, he created one for me. He reciprocated. He expressed his gratitude and love for me in a way I will always remember. He confirmed the responsibility I have to mentor him to become the type of man both I and his heavenly father want him to be. It won’t happen by accident. I must model the behavior and character for him. He affirmed my purpose in life, which is to create positive uplifting moments for human experiences and relationships.
Dallas, thank you for expressing yourself. I know my work is not done, but I like the path our relationship is on. Thank you for sharing what’s in your heart. It gives me joy and strength.
May each of you reading this story experience a lollipop moment this holiday season. Be intentional. Create moments for others without an expectation of anything in return. You’ll be amazed of the difference it makes in your life.
Know that your returns in life must be in direct proportion to what you give. This is a natural law.
- It applies to physics … For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
- It applies to human relationships … You will reap that which you sow.
No one can enrich themselves unless they enrich others. There are no exceptions to this law. We may avoid the laws of man, but there are greater laws that cannot be broken.