Thursday, October 22, 2009
When Sharks Attack, and Cookies For Breakfast...
When I was growing up, the last thing I ever thought I'd adore being when I grew up was a mom to boys. I HATED teenage boys. They were mostly bullies and jerks with questionable hygiene. Each and every one of them thought they deserved nothing less than a "10" for a girlfriend; never mind that they probably only qualified as a 6 themselves (and that's being very generous and allowing for potential after they finally hit puberty). When people excused their bad behavior as "boys will be boys" I wanted to rip their eyes out. What does that even mean? So it's okay to be a complete neanderthal because you have a Y chromosome and I do not? I'd like to see that stand up in court.
But then I went to college and was finally introduced to men. Men are what teenage boys turn into after they hit puberty and their brains finally start working at nearly full capacity. Men are wonderful; they are kind, loving, supportive and surprisingly sensitive. They bring you flowers and kiss you on the cheek at the doorstep on your first date. They try to make you dinner and even though it tastes like garbage you eat it willingly because you can't bear breaking their heart. Men promise to love you, not just for this life, but for eternity.
Having now seen this evolution, it's easier to understand what "boys will be boys" means. Sure they are disgusting at times, rude at others, never stop eating and take obnoxiousness to the level of art, but behind those behaviors are quiet, less obvious moments where you see the man starting to form. I see it every time Fox makes a gigantic mess doing one of his "experiments" that involves lots of water, dirt, and every pot in the kitchen. In between the "oh crap am I in trouble" look, there is a brightness to his eyes and excitement over his last great discovery that make me stop mid "Clean this mess up RIGHT NOW and never do it..." and laugh. Or when he sits in front of the tv for hours on end and my first impulse is to give him a lecture on how his room is a mess and he was supposed to go clean it right after school instead of being glued to the tube, but he first comes to me crying because he just watched a baby sea lion get eaten by it shark and he is inconsolably heartbroken. Perhaps only I can understand why it makes my heart smile every time the Man Child asks for "snack time" even though he's just finished the last "snack" thirty minutes ago, or why his cookie crumb smile makes me warm inside instead of frustrated over messy clothes and an even messier floor.
In my boys' bright eyes and crooked smiles I can see the men they will become, great men like their father, and it makes me so proud to be their mom. I don't know what people on the outside think of them- frankly, I don't want to know. I'm sure they only see the same things I saw in the boys I grew up with, the things that overshadow the little moments of brilliance that no one but a mom really perceives and discovers.
Thank heaven for little boys....