Monday, December 3, 2012

On Raising Boys

My sword swinging boy.

I smile and feel joyous while watching the Boy at play, doing the things that boys do: swinging sticks, building with branches and rocks, running across the yard whooping like a wild man. He runs across the backyard, head turned toward me and flashes a brilliant smile. All while brandishing a staff overhead, no break in his stride.I beckon him to come in for dinner and he tumbles through the door, breathless, pink cheeked, eyes a sparkle. The puppy bounds in after him, resulting in a tangle of boots and gloves, squeaky balls and waggly tails.

Having only given birth to boys, I am used to loud voices, piles of sticks at every doorway, and treasures found in jeans pockets. (A melted beeswax incident forced the habit of always checking the Boy's pockets). Talk of swordplay and dragons, wizards, and archery dominate the conversations.

I have received many a reproachful look by parents of quiet girls, busily doing their knitting or creating tidy drawings, whilst the boys in the group speedily charge through a bit of quiet work and are off, once again, to chase or be chased. (After asking permission to be excused and a reminder that outside is the perfect place to run, take your coat, please!)

We are now, more often than not, in the company of girl families. Our families are homeschooling in a similar style, with similar ethos, their families just happen to have girls rather than boys. After some structured activity the kids all join in for some "lets pretend." Then, the boys and more rambunctious girls get running, sticks aswinging, emanating pure joy.

Long ago I decided that i will no longer be apologetic for my son's boyness. Yes, he can be loud and messy and active. But he is caring, well spoken, and mannerly. He is not a girl, and i will not force him to act like one..i love every minute of every day spent with my loving, sweet, stick wielding wild boy.

Sticks and knives and good friends.

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