A few weeks ago we attended a pumpkin festival in a small quaint town, beautiful trees lined the water as we watched the boats come in. As we made our way out on the long dock, lined with large rocks to get a better view the boys decided they want to jump the rocks. There were small crevices between most of the rocks, but big enough that my little men could slip through and into the water.
Being protective mom I immediately told them no. Aaron on the other hand said, “let them be boys”. Of course my peanut gallery chimed in, “come on mom, we will be fine, don’t worry so much.” I closed my eyes and walked at a quick pace as I could feel my heart pounding, picturing the worse scenario possible.
I have two brothers, one older and one younger so seeing how boys act is not completely new to me. Aaron is one of nine boys and I guess he has a little more experience. Already 21 months in to this parenting gig, I still find myself trying to figure out how to raise boys.
In a society that wants to mask gender differences all together and education systems that expect 6 year old boys to sit just as still as 6 year old girls. I find myself going against the tide, trying to find the balance, while still letting my boys be boys.
Boys are loud, rambunctious and wild. Hunters and gatherers at heart and always ready for the next adventure. Yet still sensitive. When their hands have been drenched in mud, the house brought to new decibel levels and every inanimate object made into something throw-able they come to me wanting snuggles and hugs.
I have been asked on numerous occasions by complete strangers if my sons behave, if they listen to me and while observing their politeness they still ask, why are they behaving so well. Feeling sometimes like I am under the microscope in public, especially because we are a multi-racial family. My little men are such gentlemen opening the doors for others and always using their manners, still sometimes they need to be a race car driver or a fighter plane in the grocery store and make the accompanying sounds to go with it.
I am still learning, but I like to think I have come a long way. So if you visit us you may walk into a wrestling match in the living room, a game of floor hockey downstairs or balls flying across the kitchen. I apologize if you see us at the park and my sons are screaming and jumping off the swings, climbing up the slide and scaling the highest peak of the jungle gym. In appearance it may look like I am being irresponsible, I like to think of it as parenting at it’s finest. Just letting boys be boys.