One of the reasons I think I have grown up to be a relatively confident, well-adjusted female without a tattoo on my lower back is the abundance of good men in my life pretty much since birth.
I have a father who has supported and encouraged pretty much every move I've ever made. When I brought a boy to family dinner once and said boy mentioned I should wear my hair curly not straight because he liked it better, my dad chimed in-nonchalantly and not to embarrass the kid-that probably I should just wear my hair however I preferred. Our relationship has had it's bumps but my dad is a good man and he raised good kids which means I also had pretty terrific brothers who have grown up to be great husbands and dads. (My brothers are dads! Sometimes that still sounds so weird!) I have a grandfather who is as legitimately proud of his career girl grandaughter as he is of the one who has produced four great-grandkids.
And then I am just almost embarrassed at the amount of solid male influences I've had at work and at school and in my social circle. It's always been easy to weed out the dirtbags because I have an abundance of examples of what a good guy should be.
All of this to say that I was very pleased when an old friend I have long admired sent a Dear Me letter this morning. He's responsible for introducing me to Ryan Adams, Iron & Wine and a whole slew of other fabulous musicians, but mostly he's someone I've watched just try really hard to be a good man. He's a dad and a husband now and I think that makes his contribution all the sweeter-these are the kind of guys who should be raising up our next generation of dads and husbands. His letter is here.