Friday, May 29, 2009

Raising Little Men

I grew up with one other sibling--a sister. I had a lot of good guy friends in high school, but prior to parenthood, I just did not have much experience with little boys.

I had been told about the special relationship boys have with their Mamas--and it is definitely true. My little guys love me well. I must admit I am still struggling to understand how males tick. Their loving hearts, their macho tendencies, their desire to be a hero and save the day all wrapped up in precious dimpled packages.
Just yesterday at the pool, P jumped off the side repeatedly--taking breaks every few minutes to run over to me and declare his adoration with a huge hug and "I love you, Mommy." Then he would dash back to his place proving himself competent in the pool.

At home he has taken to writing me love notes with small pictures, folding them up and bringing them to me with a grin.

R is displaying similar tendencies. Independent, strong-willed and in awe of 'big boys,' he is a tough guy who plays hard. Yet, his love language is clearly physical touch. My husband and I giggle at his predictable need to 'plug in' a couple of times a day for big hugs and hand holding before he goes back out to take on the world.

I read a book years ago called Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus. I don't really remember much about the book except for a point the author, John Gray, made about males in relationships. He says men are "just like a rubber band. Men have this instinct to pull away before they can get closer. A woman pulls away when she feels misunderstood or hurt. A man pulls away to fulfill his need for independence or autonomy. When a man springs back, he picks up the relationship wherever he had left it, to the bewilderment of the woman who is still wondering why he pulled away in the first place and if she had done anything to make him pull away."

It sure does sound familiar.
Despite all their experimentation with machisimo, the boys' relationships with K seem to be doing just fine. As a matter of fact I was quite entertained to find R painting K's nails this weekend. He gave her a mani and a pedi...but he insisted on using blue polish, since that is a boy color.


Aubrey said...

I was also raised with only female siblings. Having a boy of my own has been a really special blessing! He takes such good care of his sisters and me, as you said, alternating between conquering something and proclaiming his love for us. It's so fun to watch!

R said...

thank you for this! i love gleaning "boy mom" perspective. i have two daughters, but our third and final child--a SON--was born three weeks ago today! i'd been so anxious about being a "boy mom" until they popped his sweet little self over the curtain in the OR for me to see after he was born. i was instantly in love!! but i need all the help i can get. thank you again!

Open mouth, insert foot! said...

Where are these strawberries? I have heard stories of going strawberry picking but pictured long trips up to north that the case?

My daughter painted my husband's toes a few weeks ago..he was such a good sport and has to be being the only male in our little family of 4. Husband forgot he had a doctor's appointment the next day. The big neurosurgical consult he had been waiting on. Of course the shoes come off right? Not only were they painted..they were rainbow. It is so obvious my husband is not the painting of the nails type, so the doc said..nice toes man. My husband said he wanted to just walk out right then and there but managed a 5-year-old did them for me. I would give anything to be a fly on the wall when that doc said that!! Even 39-year-old boys are so much fun!

HW said...

My little boy is 6 feet tall, will be eighteen in two months and has plans to be a Marine. Still, every time he leaves our home, hangs up his phone, or heads to bed at night, he says "Love you Mom, love you Dad." Makes me weak in the knees....

This is another precious post.

Tonya said...

Your children are absolutely beautiful.. These pictures - especially the last two - made me feel like I was standing there watching the love unfold. Great pics! (As a boy mom, I can totally relate to every word of what you wrote!)

Tara said...

That's so sweet that he's painting her nails!

Just Terrific said...

I read that books several years ago, too. I remember the part where the author tried to explain how men and women what women say and how men respond. Oh, my gosh, it was a hoot, but amazingly TRUE! I remember laughing and laughing while reading it but thought maybe that Dr. Gray had "bugged" our house and had heard one of our arguments!!

I have 2 sons and 1 daughter, too. My were born one at a time though. I think that you are a wise and insightful mom. God bless.

Kate said...

Have you read Wild at Heart (by John Eldedge)? It was recommended to me by a friend at work. It's written more for men, I guess, but she said it would be good to read as a mother raising boys. I'm about halfway through, and while I don't agree with everything he says (the part where he tells his son to hit the kid picking on him at school made me cringe), it has been a thought-provoking read and has made me see some things in a different light.