Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
I've told you about my girls, Jordan -- the leggy, blonde model and Emma-- Atilla the Five Year Old. So, i guess I'd better tell you about Matthew. Matt is our middle child, and only son. He's a nine year old bundle of charm. Boys are completely different than girls. Not necessarily less drama, just less of the "world is coming to an end" kind. More of the "blood and guts" kind -- you know, guy stuff. Matt is a companion, a helper, a reminder that my job as a father and a teacher is a great responsibility. He is also very patient -- and forgiving -- of his father's shortcomings. Matt is one of my best friends.
Oh, and all of the girls at school love him.
A few years ago, when Matt was making that transition from child to kid, I sat down and wrote about boys:
Being a boy is having shoes that make you run faster and jump higher. It is building backyard fortresses of scrap plywood. It is exploring outer space, sailing the high seas, and battling monsters -- all at the same time. It is being chased by the girls, secretly hoping (and scheming) to get caught, but being willing to take that secret to the grave.
When you’re a boy, every football you throw is a touchdown pass, every shot with a basketball is a buzzer beating, game winner, every baseball hit, a home run. A boy is sure that his dad could easily take any of the other guy’s dads - and isn’t afraid to say so. A boy can admire Han Solo and Luke Skywalker and still thrill when Darth Vader comes on screen.
Being a boy is digging for dinosaur bones in your backyard -- and being pretty sure that one was the real thing. It is going down the river with Huck Finn and whitewashing the fence with Tom Sawyer. It is having more fun planning exploits, than actually carrying them out. It is having a crush on the girl next door. And the babysitter. And your fifth grade teacher.
Boys know that video game scores are important. Boys are as interested in tricks as they are in treats. A boy carries everything he needs to survive in his pockets. When you are a boy, playground swings become rocket ships, and jet fighters. You dress in cowboy boots, a Superman cape, and a space helmet -- just to cover all of your bases.
Being a boy is burying “treasure” in your backyard, just so you will have some to dig up -- then forgetting where you buried it anyway. It is taking a bath and wondering where all the scrapes and bruises came from (I honestly don’t remember falling down that often). It is being afraid of the high dive, but being mortified that you might be the only one who is. It is pledging “blood brotherhood” with your best friend, but being a little squeamish about the actual “blood” part. Being a boy is wanting to grow up to be a fireman. And an archaeologist. And an astronaut. And just like your dad.
Boys conduct “scientific” experiments, by tying firecrackers to various toys “just to see what will happen.” Boys play tennis -- with rocks. Boys know how to get a double missile on Space Invaders. Boys have an endless fascination with bugs and body noises, and anything else that grosses out little girls. A boy knows that no one makes a better peanut butter and jelly sandwich than his mom.
Being a boy is climbing higher and riding faster than you would ever admit to your mother.
Being a boy is putting on backyard concerts, with tennis racket guitars and trash can drums.
Being a boy is being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
Being a boy is being prepared.
Being a boy is imagining that you are the only thing that stands between your third grade class and an entire fleet of alien invaders -- and liking the odds.
Then again, maybe that’s just me.