Monday, August 27, 2007

Mommy's Boy

I use to teach kindergarten and one thing that I noticed was that moms are suckers for their little boys. What I mean to say is that sometimes (I don't want to over generalize) mom's let there boys get away with a lot. For example I rarely saw a mom put a coat on her 5 year old daughter, wipe her nose or even her bottom, but I saw many moms do this for their sons. One teacher I worked with explained to a very overly "helpful" mom that one day her son would be a husband and would need to know how to put on his own jacket, plus help his wife on with hers out of courtesy. I thought that was a good point. I also had a boy in my class that went to go to the bathroom one day. As I kept on teaching I heard in the distance "MISSSSS MILLLLLLER! COME WIPE MEEEEEEE!" I honestly couldn't believe my ears. I sure didn't sign up for wiping dirty bums. So I walked him through the process for the first time. :)
What is even funnier is that I was telling a fellow mom this story and she actually got mad at me and said, "You mean you let him walk around with a dirty bottom all day?! I would be furious if little "Johnny's" teacher did that!" It was then I realized that moms seem to want to keep their sons little boys for some reason. Because this principle rarely applies to girls. First of all most girls learn to wipe from the get go, and furthermore I think most moms want their girls to be prepared for what life dishes out. Why isn't this true of mothering boys?
To bring me to my point, I just realized today why mom's tend to shy away from teaching their sons these "important" life skills. I was reflecting on how I mothered Addie in comparison to Elias. Elias has had a few sleep interupted nights recently (not the norm around here). It has been so hard for me to let him "figure it out on his own" a motto that I often used with Addie. I want to go rock him, nurse him and "fix it for him." I got to thinking that I feel like he is only my baby for so long, he will soon grow and be a toddler and want to connect with his daddy. With Addie I know that their are a multitude of girly activities, rights of passage and heart to hearts in our future, but what does it mean to mother a boy and a young man as he grows? I wish I could just stunt is growth for a bit more and savor this time.
So, I have learned why mom's try to keep their son's little boys (for much longer than boyhood.) Now I need to learn the truly important thing, how to connect with my boy and train him up to be a mature man. Ugh....

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