Dear Philly,

I sat with my family at a graduation picnic tonight. Listening to my dad talk. And I started to wonder how a boy grows into a good man. What are the ingredients, the recipe? My dad is the greatest man I know. But how did he get there? There is something in him that strives to be a hard worker. Someone who does the right thing. A good husband, father, and friend. I know it starts with the Lord. But there has to be an element of life-- just living and growing. And learning.

ruffle dress
ruffle dress

I snapped these photos of Philly during the picnic, intimidating a rather large, industrial-sized fan. Blowing almost hurricane force winds;). (It was hot!!) And there is my dad. In that little kid's face. Strong. Facing the fight. And I felt a little relief, knowing he has a good start on that journey. And a wonderful, devoted father of his own to guide him through it all. The photos made me think of something I'd written maybe a couple years back. You can read on, if you'd like.

Worth Fighting For, to Philly

You love to wrestle Daddy. He is five times your weight, but you still believe you can pin him. Someday he will be the one to say “Uncle.” This is worth fighting for.

There are times when your cousin, though he is your best friend, is tackling you. Mama doesn’t rescue you, because you need to figure this one out yourself. This is worth fighting for.

Someday your sister will be more of a nuisance than a friend. But at some point she will need her little brother to be a big brother. She will need you to hang out for an hour, because you are the only boy she likes at that moment. Through all the petty fights, hang in there. Because this is worth fighting for.

Someday you will be on the field and the score will be big—on the wrong side of the board. And you will still play hard; still get your uniform dirty. This is worth fighting for.

Someday you will do something wrong and break mama’s heart, just for a second. And you will want me to believe in you again. This is worth fighting for.

Someday pop and dad will take you fishing, and you will think about taking a break from pulling in the Monster Fish. But you won’t. Because this is worth fighting for.

Someday a girl will catch your eye. You will want to be like the boys she likes, even though they are not like the boy you should be. Give her time. This is worth fighting for.

Someday you will be given a choice. No one will know if you choose wrong. No one will know if you choose right. You will always know, babe. This is worth fighting for.

Someday you will be a man and have a job and a lot of responsibilities. Remember that in the blur, in the frenzy called life, your family should come first. This is worth fighting for.

Someday it will be much easier to ignore what must be done than to do it. And it may be a really hard thing to face, to finish. You will do it, and Dad will be proud of the man you have become. This is worth fighting for.

Someday you will need to have a catch, take a swing, be a kid again. Always keep your ball glove in a place you won’t forget. Never lose the boy you are now, when a homerun in the living room makes your night. This is worth fighting for.

Remember that mama and daddy will always have your back. We will always be here to lift you up and get you going again, even if the fight has been knocked out of you. We are in your corner. Because you are worth fighting for.

ruffle dress

I love that boy.


  1. I totally get it and I now have tears streaming down my face! I often wonder how my boys are going to get there. Hubby is in the ARMY and gone a lot and I am just not enough all the time...plus, I'm about as girly as they come,lol. This is beautiful, you are a wonderful writer Krista! If you do find a secret recipe fill me in!
    Have a wonderful day!

  2. Oh, you made me cry. This is so good. My dream is to have boys, and I can only hope that they will grow up to be half the man their grandfathers [and father] are... This letter to Philly is so perfect. I hope that when he's able to read it and understand, that he follows your advice. A full life is worth fighting for!

  3. This is beautiful Krista. You have an amazing way with words and can put your heart into print in a very special way.

  4. Ugh, this is so sweet. I got goosebumps reading this... it made me smile and think about my little brothers and little ones to come (someday). :) -- Sea Marie

  5. i don't have any children, but this warmed my heart for sure. it was so sweet--almost cried! such a beautiful letter. loved it.

  6. I love my boys they are fantastic, I love my boys who I have lost as well & even tho its been so long I miss them every day.
    My eldest Ben is now 20 & my youngest Jake is 15. Ben has his own child on the way, he ia an apprentice plumber but wanted tostart a family young the same as I did, he loves kids. He doesnt drink, doesnt go to parties or hang around in crowds. He still gives me a cuddle & says goodnight with a cuddle every night & tells me he loves me & his dad, he uses his manners all the time even in shops & he respects people. It has been such a tough road we have walked along but we are doing it, each & every day & I'm so proud the way my kids have grown & how responsible they are compared to others their age.
    There is no right or wrong way in raising kids but I truly believe all kids should be raised with as much love as possible no matter what age they are, no-one is too old to have a hug & say I love you. Respect is a 2 way street in order to gain a childs respect especially when they are in their teens, toughest of all the years I believe lol....they need respect off us even tho we are parents we have to respect them & treat them as equals not so much as our children but more like minature adults lol.
    Soz for the long comment, I'm sure your children will grow up great & that you will be proud of them.
    Boy I'm sure proud of mine, they are my best creations & I love them with every breath I take.

    Hugs Vicky xx

  7. Priceless words & there's a sense of your Dad passing on this wisdom to & through you too. I cannot add to this - you always give me such unexpected thoughts - ones I need reminding of. Thank you so much & for sharing so much of yourself & your family.
    Much love
    Paula (PEP)

  8. How beautiful are your words!!!!
    Vee xx

  9. I think you captured all the things that goes through mothers heads, im to scared to put my thoughts down for the little ones to see, thanks for your thoughts and your courage hugs sharon x



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