Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The phenomenon of boys

I have a boy. I like boys. I think they're fun, loving, infuriating at times, but mostly a delight. I used to take a lot of what Samuel did personally. He's gotten ten spankings today, I must be a horrible mom. He's smacked his sister five times, I'm doing something terribly wrong. He's yelled Noooooo!!!! to me at least thirty times, I'm an awful person. I know that I do things wrong, every day. I say things I shouldn't. I do things I regret. But I've learned to give myself grace. Knowing that I have a loving God, who is extremely patient with me, as I flounder around, helps. Humor is also key. Boys are incredibly amusing, if you take the time to sit back and watch. I try to give Samuel the freedom to be a boy. I think in this day, fear has caused moms to keep their boys close, too close.
Don't climb that tree, you'll fall out.
Stay out of the creek, you'll get dirty.
Don't talk to him, he's a stranger.
Do I want my boy to be safe? Sure, but I want him to have fun. Childhood should be a carefree time. A time to be dirty.

I don't mind a dirty boy. I actually like it. To me, it's like he's wearing his fun. We live next to a very clean boy. His mom always keeps him very safe. His helmet is always on, his face clean, and you'll never catch him talking to a stranger. Samuel, whose face is never clean and never does not talk to strangers, and Ryan are friends. They play almost daily. Samuel has gotten Ryan in quite a bit of trouble. He's taken him into the creek and gotten him filthy. He's shown him the cool berries in the bushes that turn your hands into a remarkable color that stays on for maybe a week.

Yesterday, Samuel and Ryan were playing in Ryan's tree house. I was sitting with my neighbor on her patio. I noticed Samuel chattering away to Ryan about something. Then they both climbed down and ran to the creek. Pretty soon, we saw two bare white bottoms and a stream going right in the creek. My neighbor gasped in horror. I smiled with pride.
Tonight, if you have a boy, hold him tight, inhale his scent, take in his dirtiness. Did I tell you that I like boys?