Thursday, September 10, 2009

Boys, Boys, Boys

As luck would have it, just the week I wanted to hide, when I was 40 weeks pregnant, we had a Cub Scout pack meeting on Tuesday and a court of honor on Thursday, my actual due date. I would have stayed away but two of my boys were both getting rank advancements and would not have been happy if I said I couldn't come. I didn't plan this very well 8 and 11 years ago when I had these two boys did I? They are 3 years apart and I've got a five year old boy too so I am in for YEARS of scout meetings without a break. I also have a 15 year old so I've already been to years of scout meetings and the novelty has worn off. (I have learned that the secret to enduring pack meetings and court of honors is to have a good book tucked in my purse.)

One of the most uncomfortable things I've done is waddle up in front of the whole stake (for some reason the court of honor for my 11-yr-old Scout involved the scout troops of the whole stake) on my due date to get the rank advancement pin with my son. One of the sisters in my ward came up to me afterward and told me I looked miserable. Well, thanks! Yes, I was miserable. Just three days later I had my newest son and he weighed in at 10 lbs! I've included a picture of me at the pack meeting, very pregnant, getting the pin for my son's Wolf rank.

Now that I am the mother of five, yes, count them, five boys I think I am finally getting the message that it would be a good idea to learn more about how boys think. Decades ago when I was 12 or something I pulled a book off of my parents' bookcase, So you Want to Raise a Boy by Cleon Skousen. I learned some amazing stuff from that book. Maybe it's time to reread it. I am learning that boys like weapons. I am learning that they like to be wild. That is OK. One of the Scout leaders in our ward says that the reason he LOVES Scouting is that he gets to play with fire, climb the face of cliffs, handle knives, and do all the dangerous things his mother told him not to do. I think Scouting is the way for boys to channel their wild energy in a safe way.

I have been reading the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. He is Christian, but not LDS. Despite the theology that I disagree with, I agree with a lot of what he says. His main point is that God is wild at heart and He shows that through the wildness of nature. Every male is wild at heart and wants to be part of some adventure. If we accept this wildness and let each boy/man discover that he has what it takes to be a wild man then we will be happy.

So I am letting go of telling my boys to be quiet and I have always let them have their weapons. I give up the idea that my home is a sedate place. Things won't always be in perfect control or order. I have trained my boys in doing dishes and housework and baby tending and I also encourage their Scouting adventures. I hope someday my future daughters-in-law will thank me for raising such wonderful boys who are loving and disciplined, yet in touch with their wild side too when it is needed.

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