West Meets East

Pondering Raising Boys. . .

Raising boys has not been the easiest task that I've been given in this lifetime. Don't get me wrong. . . I LOVE boys! I love the rough and tumble way that they live and breath and play and work. I love the way they make new friends by sharing their "stats"and comparing with how fast or smart they each are or just having a down and out 50 meter dash where there is a clear winner and loser - somehow this bonds them. I love how they play "I got you last" and this seals a friendship forever as they chase and prove their own ability while showing their commitment in the friendship is deep enough to chase each other. I love the way they are wired to make sound effects - even in their sleep and I (try to) love the way that the word "poop" makes itself into the conversation at least ten times a day- usually in the form of "I'll poop on your_____(fill in the blank). There are so many things that I love about boys but it is an extreme challenge for me to raise them! I grew up with 2 sisters and of course we fought at times. . .well, ok. . . a lot of the time (felt like I should be honest - my mom might be reading this), but our house was peaceful and quiet a lot of the time too. But, an unknown author once said that BOY - by definition is noise with dirt on it. This is my reality with 2 little boys 4 and under in my house- it is loud and noisy and I see no signs of this lessoning as they get older but the sounds and noises will change. I love it and am challenged by it both at the same time. I think I say things like, "Slow down, Be Careful, Watch out, Can you say that more softly, mommies ear is right here, No. . . you may not, you may NOT climb that!" so much that this is the primary message that they hear from me which could be equatable with, " No, please do not act like a boy. Act like a girl." I know this sounds a bit sexist because there are some boys who do not like the loud and dirty and active kinds of activities and there are some girls who do. I don't mean to generalize but I guess I sort of do. I think there is plenty of room for boys who don't and girls who do, but my boys do and this is the reality that I'm writing about tonight. How can I honor and celebrate the way they are hardwired while keeping them and anyone they are playing with "safe", and not give the message that the way they are inclined to be is "too much"? Counseling courses and programs are designed to ease the pain of this wound that begins first in childhood and I feel especially burdened that I need to "figure this out" because of the incredible responsibility of raising boys to grow into honorable men. I wish there was a clear cut "answer" but I'm convinced there is not. I am open to any and all wisdom you have on how to celebrate and honor "boy" in my boys. And, this is my current challenge to myself. . .I'm sure you will be hearing about it here on my blog or on my facebook posts in the weeks to come.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a mom of three boys who are growing oh-so-quickly into young men (they are 15, 12 and almost 10), and yes, they are LOUD! So loud! lol And busy. And rough and tumble, and musical, and artistic.

    When they were tiny, I read something like "it's easier to mend a broken bone than a broken spirit", and it's something I've forced myself to remember over the years as they've raced down hills (TOO FAST) on their scooters, as they've climbed (TOO HIGH) into trees. And over the years, we have indeed had broken arms and broken fingers and stitches....but not as often as I'd expect...and in the meantime, they are growing into confident, self-aware young men.

    I think raising boys is a special challenge and a special gift all rolled into one loud package :)