February 19, 2010

Raising Boys

We only have one boy, so we're not experts. But we do seek to be the parents our son needs. It's not easy, and our son has been quite a challenge. But we do our best and pray that God will make up the rest.

As our son nears the double digits, one need of his has become more and more apparent. We see his increasing need to be with Dad. Unfortunately for him, Dad is at work M-F. A noble and honorable thing, of course, but Big A can't exactly go with him. So he's at home with Mom. Well, Mom does her best to raise her boy to be a man, but what Big A really needs, at least at this point, is Dad to teach him to be a man. So Dad does the best he can from the hours of 6-9pm, and on weekends.

I read once that if Mom is the only one raising Junior, don't be surprised if, at 15, Junior acts more like Mom than Dad.

Now, everyone's free to raise their kids as they see fit, I'm not passing judgement or saying there is only one way to do it. I just don't want my son to act like me, that's all. I think Tony's a far better role model. All I know is that we have been entrusted to raise the one boy we've been given. A monumental task. But we, like so many others, are stuck in this modern day merry-go-round where Dad just can't be around as much as we would like.

In my ideal world, I would do the academics with Big A in the morning, then off he would go to do manly things with Dad for the rest of the day. Like work, chop wood, go to Home Depot, fix things, build things, install fences, raise chickens, you know, manly things. Whatever.

Leaving for the mission field is in many ways a blessing. I've often mentioned to Tony over the years how wonderful it would be if Big A could be with him most of the day. The poor kid just seems to wander around the house half the day. It's very taxing for me to find things for him to do. (And no, sending him to public school is not the answer). It's very sad and frustrating when he says things like, "I wish there weren't so many bad people in the world, so I could just go outside and you didn't have to watch me all the time." Well, unfortunately for both of us, there are, and I do. Several times a week we have people walk right across our yard. Like RIGHT across our yard, right passed the above-ground pool, toys, and within feet of the windows. It's creepy, especially when it's some strange guy dressed in shorts in the middle of winter, covered in tattoos, and talking loudly only to himself.
Leaving for the mission field would be a blessing, indeed.

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