Friday, November 16, 2007

The Creature Named Boy

Something about just having a sister does not adequately prepare you for raising a boy.

I'll never forget the first time I went home with my college roommate. She has two younger brothers that she is crazy about and when she went off to Aggieland they missed her dearly. Upon entering their living room, she was greeted with a pounce to the floor. One brother poked and tickled her mercilessly, while the other held her down in a choke hold. And when the duo finally emerged and turned to meet "the friend", they found me crouched in a corner with a look of sheer terror in my eyes.

Clearly, boy love was foreign to me.

But not anymore. Thanks to Park, I now realize that nothing says I love you like a good body slam. Boys are rough and tumble. A sweet kiss is not complete without a debilitating head butt. It comes with the territory that flying objects will whiz past your head and laying on the floor automatically qualifies you as a human trampoline.

Without a brother, I had no manual to prepare me that bugs would someday be sacred and tractors could be worthy of delightful squeals. There was no way for me to know that mud puddles are made for jumping in or that dirt is a way of life.

Part of my role as a mother is to soften rough edges and cultivate a need for intimacy in Park. Teaching sensitivity and gentleness encourages him to value women and empathize with others. And sometimes I must gently remind him of the different ways to play with Mommy verses Daddy.

But I've also come to realize that the the other part of my role is to allow rowdy, rough behavior and insane risk taking.

The very nature of a man craves adventure and excitement. The fearless spirit that leaps off jungle gyms will someday be unafraid to protect a wife. The adventurous spirit that spontaneously throws himself into mud puddles will accept the challenge of securing provisions for his family. The conqueror of bugs will captivate his kids for Christ.

Things I all too often mistake for aggressive behavior or lack of impulse control are simply the fingerprint of the Creator, who chose to make Park male.

What an amazing God we have, equally equipped with both feminine and masculine qualities, himself. Creating men and women in His own image, He was intuitively aware that one could not prevail without the other.

And in that uniqueness, more of Him is revealed.

The foreignness of boy love has faded away. And in its place is an overwhelming appreciation for the gift of raising a son.

And that's the dirty truth.

(Already a dirt lover at the ripe old age of 8 months)


dawn said...

Thank you for this sweet reminder. I have three little tornados in my home and rough and tumble does not adequately describe how our days go.

I, too, had only one sister and am learning how my boys show love to one another and to me.

Loved reading this. Thanks again!

Tyna said...

This was great! I'm handling all the 'boy stuff' well, except for the spitting. Shudder! It makes all the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up...

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Brittani, this is beautiful. (And I love the picture of Park at the end. He's on a tear there, isn't he? All boy.)

K in the Mirror said...

Thanks for writing this! My boy is the same age as Park in that picture, and I know I'm in for lots of boy orientation- I just had a sister too.

I am... said...

thanks for writing this- i'm expecting my first (in a few weeks) and was a little scared of the news that we're having a boy- I always imagined myself as the mother of daughters not sons...
i love reading your blog- came over here from "In the Midst of It"- I guess a lot of the blogs I read are mothers of sons (I've been reading since before I got pregnant)- I suppose God was preparing me for the future :)

Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

If I have a boy someday, I will be in the same boat. I love when you said nothing says I love you like a good body slam!

Mom22Boyz said...

I, too, only had a sister and was taken aback by "boy world" with my two boys. My husband has two older brothers. He always tells me to "let them be boys!" I try! He also highly recommends two books by John Eldredge: Wild at Heart and The Way of the Wild Heart. He thinks everyone with boys should read them.

DallasHolts said...

I have been reading your blog for a while, but I haven't commented as I should. However, this one hit home so close, I couldn't be silent any longer. I didn't grow up with a brother either and now I have a 7 year old ALL BOY, one sweet little girl and another boy on the way. Your blog was a great reminder of seeing how all the qualities that make my son ALL BOY will be his strengths and he is exactly the way God designed him. Thank you for your encouraging words!

Molly said...

What a sweet post...and a good perspective for me to see right now as I am expecting child #4 (in about 3 weeks)...a BOY, after 3 girls!!! We are in for some excitement in our house, that's for sure! I loved how you tied all his "boyness" into God's plan for him as an adult, in relation to his wife, children, responsibilities, etc. I have been reading your blog on occasion for some time...can't even remember how I got here the first time! Decided it was time for me to, guess I am no longer a "lurker"! :)