Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Thank Heaven for Little Boys

There's something wonderful about boys. They're so un-politically correct. I should know -- I have four sons. I may complain about the never-ending stream of fart jokes and talk about video games, but I can't imagine my life without them. (I also have two daughters that I delight in, as well, but today this is about boys.)

What got me on this track? Last night I called my sister-in-law, Steph, and she told me a story about her 5-year-old, Aidan. Aidan came home from school yesterday with a red card (not a good thing). The teacher wrote a note with it: Aidan showed the other little boys how to aim over the urinal in the bathroom. Steph confessed to laughing hysterically (she has 3 sons, so she's immune to shock as well). I suppose it's inappropriate behavior (the aiming, not the laughing), but it's hard not to laugh. Besides, Aidan had developed a skill and naturally he wanted to pass it along.

Also, Chris tells stories (and posts pictures) of his son and it reminds me a lot of when my boys were little.

I think sometimes our society doesn't want to let boys be boys. (For that matter, our society doesn't want to let children be children, but I'll save that for some other time.) I'm not suggesting that boys shouldn't be taught to find appropriate outlets for their energy, or be sensitive and caring about others. It's just that it's OK if they want to play army or climb things or bring home pockets full of rocks or take all the spices out of the kitchen and make some strange concoction with them. (well, that last thing was kind of expensive) The occasional fart joke is even kind of funny (I just wonder why it's so funny all the time).

My sons are growing up now. They tower over me: my youngest son, Joel, loves to stand next to me and say things like "I feel tall." He's 15 and is pushing 6 feet and 230 pounds. But it's still the sweetest thing when they hug me and call me mommy. They're funny and sweet and smart and talented, and I think they're going to be fine men; four girls are going to be very lucky someday. And maybe someday I'll have some grandsons. No big rush, but it would be nice ... someday. (Note to Julia: I promise, I'm not hinting.)

Without my boys, I would never have learned to appreciate Cowboy Bebop or the finer points of Final Fantasy. I might not have discovered Terry Prachett on my own.

One of my favorite movies is Safe Passage, in which Susan Sarandon plays a mother with seven sons. I can relate. There's a place in the movie where she wonders if she's been a good mother -- she was always forgetting lunch money and their socks didn't match. But the girlfriend of her oldest son reassures her that her sons have turned out very well. I hope that that kind of thing will be said about my boys.

I once told my boys that I'm never in the dark, I have four sons. I meant it.

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