Boys will be awesome
This kid right here…
I thought I would be getting all weepy in this season of lasts. His last team dinner at our house, his last cross country meet, his last awards night. These events are scheduled to happen in the next few days but I’m not feeling that sense of grief I thought I would. Liam has been working hard on his college applications with little input from myself. He’s taking charge of this piece of his future which is amazing to see.
Instead of the sadness I’ve been expecting, I’m left with this anxious wondering if I’ve gotten all the right parenting in. This feels like last minute cramming. Liam doesn’t know how to cook. He’s still learning to drive. He keeps his clean clothes in the laundry basket and dirty ones on the floor. And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other stuff I’ve missed. He can mow the lawn and do dishes. That’s worth something, right?
But we’ve been having different conversations these days. We’ve long since covered the complexities of the birds and the bees. We’ve had such excellent conversations that I’m not allowed to share, but I will say this – use humor, keep the conversation going even when there’s eye rolling, ask questions and really listen.
Now we’re talking about what it means to be a man. Turns out the loudest message for boys is that we have horribly low expectations for them. They can’t make or be a friend. They’re not allowed to have feelings. They’re lousy communicators. They’re power hungry, irresponsible cheats who take advantage of others. I’m not saying this is never true but why one earth are we accepting it as the norm? All of this time I’ve been thankful that I’m not raising girls so I don’t have to be fearful for them. Then I realize that girl moms are, in part, scared for how their daughters will be treated by boys, so shouldn’t we boy moms be doing something about that?
I am. I’m changing the narrative. I’m taking this teachable moment. I’m pointing out Liam’s actions and naming the wonderful qualities he has. For example, Liam is being raised by parents with health issues who often have to tag out of parenting. Sometimes Liam is left to tag in and he frequently checks on how we’re feeling. He is a compassionate caregiver.
So my cramming is now made up of instilling important messages. With words to name actions and feelings. This feels like the best parenting I can do right now. He can live on ramen noodles for awhile if he must.
Liam is silly, and witty, and wonderful and totally digs his family. I’ll take that as a parenting win.