The Boy Behind the Bravado


Bravado can be defined as “a bold manner or a show of boldness intended to impress or intimidate.” (

That characteristic definitely applies to our 8-year-old grandson, Owen. In nearly every picture taken of him, he is making a tough-guy face. He is brave and fearless, just like his cartoon heroes.


But deep down, he’s a sweet, considerate, thoughtful, and sensitive eight-year-old boy.

My husband and I spent last weekend with our son’s family. One day we decided to take a walk to get some fresh air.  Owen didn’t want to go and asked his Dad if he could stay home. The conversation went something like this:

  • Owen: Dad, can I please stay home? I’ll be fine.
  • Brian: Well, since we are just going around the block and will be super close, yes, it will be okay.  It will be like “Home Alone.”
  • Owen: ………But there won’t be any burglars, right?
  • Brian: No. There won’t be any burglars. We won’t be more than 5 minutes away, so if you get scared, you just need to call me, and I’ll come right back. And when we leave you need to lock the door. Okay?
  • Owen: OKAY!

So we got ready to leave.


As Brian walked out of the house, Owen stopped him and whispered into his ear, “I’m a little nervous.”

Again, Brian asked Owen if he wanted to come with with us; but he said he didn’t.

Brian reassured him that there would be absolutely no burglars and reminded him to call if he got scared. Owen agreed, and he shut the door.

Brian stood there for a few seconds, then tried the doorknob to be sure the door was locked. It was. “Good job!” he called out to Owen.



Before we left, I asked Owen to pose for a picture for me. A nice picture with a smile. Yea!

When we got home, Owen came running out of his bedroom, with a boisterous, “Welcome home!” Although he’s always welcoming when anyone comes home after being gone, his smile and enthusiasm told us that he actually really did miss us this time.

The job of parents is to equip their children for life. This was one more step for Owen.

But this is just a reminder that no matter how brave or tough he acts, he’s still a little boy.




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