Thursday, August 14, 2008

Photostory Friday: An Ode to the "Y" Chromosome

PhotoStory Friday
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.


Chris said...

I apologize, in advance, for the gray text. I can't get it to go white, no matter what I do. Thanks for dropping by.

Indrani said...

Now I miss having a boy child.
God bless!

Cecily R said...

Oh, I LOVE LOVE your Being a Boy essay!

Chris, you are a double threat. An amazing amazing photographer AND writer. I'm feeling a little jealous.

But I sure am glad you're doing PSF with us every week!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

Wow! This is beautiful. I love the title. I have a 2-year-old little boy who is just itching to do all of those things you describe. He's full of energy, loves to tackle, climb, dig, run, throw, and swing the golf club. And he still loves to snuggle with his mama...I hope that lasts for awhile.

Lindsay said...

LOVE love love your post. Thanks for giving me insight to boys - I have an almost 2 year old boy and I'm learning something new everyday.

Thanks for stopping by!

Corey~living and loving said...

What a great tribute to your son. :) He is very handsome.
Happy PSF!

Susie said...

I have tears in my eyes, goose bumps on my skin, and a very giant lump in my throat about to fall into the warm fuzzy in my tummy after reading this.

I am sooooo happy to read your blog. You are a fantastic writer (I will be paying more attention to this) AND a fabulous photographer! Wow what a brilliant tribute to being a boy.

I used to only want girls. Until now.
About a year before I had Sophie I saw a little girl and my heart whispered that I would have a girl who looks just like her--and I did-right down to the pigtails.
My heart just whispered again. Now I am seriously bawling. wow

Your son is absolutely GORGEOUS! You are one lucky dad!

Susie said...

oh, and one other thing,
I have always wanted to whitewash a fence as long as I got to play Becky!

Upward Falling Autumn said...

That so made me cry! My son is about to turn 9 and I can totally relate to all of that. The pics are a great partner to your son's profile!

Mamarazzi said...

perfection! it truly does describe the whole Boy thing...FABULOUS PSF!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

What a handsome lad! Obviously you know a thing or two about being a boy! :)

Pdyrholm said...

He looks like quite the gentleman dressed up in a suit and all.

Parenting is a great responsibility but to parents luck kids do understand it can be hard from time to time.

Great story. You just have that way with words :-)

MomOf4 said...

Wow! This was so neat!! I can tell you and your son have an amazing relationship! Well done!

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

Wow, Love the pics! You have a great header too!

Shannon said...

What a beautiful boy and what a special post by his father. I am sure he will relish these words as he grows and especially when he has a boy of his own. Great PSF!

scrappysue said...

great post. thanks for stopping by

tiarastantrums said...

love the shots - BUT I am not ready for (my) little boy tobe a big boy!!!

Ryanne said...

I need a copy of that being a boy speech, I love it. Boys are definitely no less drama than girls, but sooo much fun. Every ball needs thrown, every bug inspected and every bruise appreciated! Thanks so much for sharing.

Susan said...

I loved reading this and anticipating all the boy things I have to look forward to with my two and half year old. He brings me so much joy each day and I love every little boy thing he says and does.
The shots of your son are great!

Holly said...

Be still my heart! Look at that handsome little man!

Sass said...

Very exciting. I didn't realise that every day had the potential to be a firecracker and alien adventure. That would explain some of the bruises.

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

I adore this tribute Chris. You've captured him PERFECTLY. I love that grass shot - the perspective is perfect.

And having only a boy to date, I wholeheartedly agree.

Karin said...

This is just lovely - your pictures, your writing... everything!

Casey's trio said...

This post will be one that your son will cherish forever. And the pictures are just priceless! Thanks for stopping by our blog.