My heart has a special warm spot for boys. When I see a boy displaying absolute boyness, that spot in my heart glows. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a predominantly female family – I have a number of sisters but only one brother and he is too much younger for me to have paid much attention to him when we were growing up.
I remember when my oldest son – and my first child – was born, I thought, “What am I going to do with him? I know about girls, but how does one parent a boy?”
Silly me! I did have a husband after all, and he had two brothers. Somehow we’ve muddled along together parenting the two boys that came our way.
And in the process, I’ve discovered that boys intrigue me. I’m not talking about physical differences, here – rather the substance inside a boy that makes him do the things he does. His mind, how it works, what it thinks about, how it views the world. Boys think about things that most girls don’t even notice.
Example #1: When he was three years old, we took my son to a local festival. There were carnival rides, so we let him go on the merry-go-round. Now, what do girls do on the merry-go-round? They look at the pretty horses, at mom and dad, at the scenery passing by, right? What did my son do? He spent the entire ride looking at the mechanism in the center of the ride, trying to figure out how it worked. Now, I’m not saying there’s never been a girl who’s done that, but that’s boyness!
Example #2: Yesterday, my son had a writing assignment to do. He needed to write a report on a man who lived in Mexico in the 1920’s. How did he prepare himself for it? Observe.
Be still my heart! (Note the tear in the brim of the hat. It’s been well-used.)
And, no, that is not a real gun. Yes, I think boys should be allowed to have toy guns. I kept my oldest son from having guns. Did it keep him from playing good guys vs. bad guys and having mock shoot-outs? No. He just created his own weapons from sticks and such things. That’s boyness.