Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Let Boys be Boys
As I was putting Carson to bed last night, a neighbor started up their lawn mower and Carson who was almost asleep instantly sprung out of my arms and ran around yelling Daddy and pointing to the window. He wanted to go help and be apart of what was going on. His brown eyes just lit up. I laughed and as usual responded by kissing him and telling him..."you are such a boy."
During Carson's pregnancy we found out his gender. At the time of the ultrasound, we discovered he was a boy sooner than we were supposed to. The tech was just sweeping over his little body checking everything out, but we unmistakably got our answer. My life changed, right then and there. From that point on I was the mom of a little boy. My mission in life changed and all I could dream about was the many different things we would do together like racing cars around the house and playing in the mud. Not to mention that from then on I had and have the responsibility of raising a little boy to be a man of God and a good husband and father. All those dreams of racing cars and playing in the mud together have come true and in ample amounts. When Carson comes inside covered from head to toe in dirt, I smile. It makes my heart happy knowing he was for a little while able to be the little caveman he so desires to be.
The differences between a boy and a girl became apparent much sooner than I thought was possible. The moment he started really interacting with us, probably around 3 months, he started showing interest in tools and anything that Daddy did. It became really important to me to protect the ability for him to be a boy. Sometimes I hear gasps around me at the things I let him do, like jump off the couches at anxiety inducing heights. As long as a few pillows are underneath him, I have no worries and I let him go for it. I also let him use real tools alongside daddy during projects. Once again I hear gasps as he tries to hammer a nail into a board. Instead of overreacting and stopping him, I stand back and watch him. He's not hammering like a crazy man, he his slowly and methodically trying to get that nail into that board. So I just wait and watch and give him time. He was completely content to try over and over to get it to work like Daddy. Finally, when he gave up I put the hammer and nails away, but during subsequent projects and with supervision, I have let him try again. I don't have high expectations for him in regards to his manliness, I just want to support what is there, his own personal interests. We call him our worker boy. Anything he can physically do, he tries.
I don't think our society presently allows little boys to be boys. It requires getting dirty and lots of attention and energy to makes sure they are safe. It can be downright exhausting when he wants to go outside and play in the "wat" for what seems like the millionth time that day. But it is worth it and I encourage you mothers of boys to really accept them for who they are. Let them get dirty, get scraped knees, and run around like a wild child for a bit. Focus their physical energy on activities they enjoy. You will have a much happier and content child if you do.