Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Caught Between Two Worlds

Boys are difficult. Parenting boys is easy but mysterious, uncharted ground when they are small. As they grow, they belong to two worlds. My son has always been the sweetest little guy you will ever met. He loves life. He loves to make people laugh. He loves animals. He loves to learn about animals--sometimes to the point of no return. . .but that's another post. He loves people, all kinds/shapes/sizes/ colors/cultures/disabilities. On our vacation to Myrtle Beach, he played with a young lady (around 12 or so) with cerebral palsy. He was very loving, very gentle, very "normal" with her. I would love to take the credit. After all, we once trick-or-treated the rehab wing of the hospital I was working at, including recent amputees, stroke patients, etc. However, he has always been this way. God made him extremely loving and empathetic from day one.

As Kyler grows, he is expected to join this "manly" world, where emotions, kindness, softness are discouraged, or at the very least, considered secondary to toughness, aggressiveness, competitiveness, and resourcefulness. Those latter things are not necessarily bad, mind you. Kyler has always been quite athletic, so those skills will serve him well. I am just not prepared for my son to give up what makes him, well, him. God made him loving and kind for a reason. I agree, he can be competitive. He can be resourceful. He can even be aggressive, when it is called for. Don't make him change his very personality to be that way.

Also, (in an I-guess-I'm-not-as-over-this-as-I-thought-I-was moment,) don't ever talk to my son as if he doesn't deserve your respect. He does. He deserves more respect than you will ever know. I will try my hardest to forgive someone who wrongs me, but if you wrong my son, it will take God's forgiveness. That is something He and I are still working on when it comes to someone (an adult, mind you!) verbally attacking my son in public.

Oh well. I have to end on a light-hearted note. Kyler told me this morning, "Mom, EVERYTHING costs money!"

Mom said, "Yes, I know."

Kyler, in that great comeback, dry, matter-of-fact way he has, said, "That's why we should just trade stuff. Trading doesn't cost anything. And that trade I made yesterday was a good trade. Jarrod and I were both happy. (Plus, mine that I traded just came from McDonald's, so I think I got the better trade. Don't you, Mom?)"

How can you argue with that??