“I say what I want to say and do what I want to do. There’s no in between. People will either love you for it or hate you for it.” Eminem
The day we found out that we were expecting (AGAIN!!) was a shock. I thought our son, who was almost 9 years old, was the last baby to develop in this womb!
It doesn’t matter that they’re years apart in age. This doesn’t stop them from being at each other’s throats, the minute they come into contact with each other. Which makes the fact, that every time we’re in public, and people – particularly, strangers – comment on their sweetness, mind-boggling!
In Love, But Not With Eminem
I find myself gazing at them, my daughter – only 5 years old and in Kindergarten; then, my son, who’s 15 and a freshman. When I look at them, I’m passionate about these people who are seeing their sweetness, being senile.
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“Thanks, they are”, is usually my words that get murmured back. After all, I’m certain there’s not an appropriate way to discuss, that my 5-year-old can typically resemble the likes of The Incredible Hulk at times. But, all kidding aside…
A Perfect Gentleman
There’s not any denying that my handsome Isaac (minus the immature battles with his sister, of course) has the absolute sweetest demeanor. Our son was certainly handled with kid-gloves for many years, plus he’d lived around primarily women for his whole existence!
Those adorable, puffy (almost red) lips, surrounded with a strong, masculine jaw line, like his dad’s, wouldn’t help to convince anyone that he was anything but a prince anyway. When people say this kid’s sweet – well, I absolutely get it!
You Know What They Say About Assumptions
Some might automatically assume, since he’s not loud and abrasive but actually affectionate with good manners, that maybe his “genetic makeup” was made a certain way. Seems like that’s where people are really quick to jump these days.
With all this being said, I feel inclined to mention that I’ve established a “rule” of sorts, when this son of mine with all of his sweetheart features that he’s so often commended for, is getting these qualities acknowledged. The rule is: as his beloved mother (ahem), I must always refrain from appearing bewildered when people assume that he’s an angel, and it’s just moments after we get out of the car that he’s been antagonizing his younger sister in.
I Love Being His Mom
As his beloved mother (ok, I won’t call myself that again, I promise…), I mustn’t go to interject, unless there’s an adequate reason to. Like, if said person that’s making the statement is at a high school football game that he happens to be playing defense in. Obviously, then I’ll have to correct them.
Quickly followed by how he’s about to shove a football down their son’s throat. Not my finest moment…(Even if the students who were in the stands found their day was just a little bit brighter afterwards, according to one of our older daughters anyway.)
It’s been by my choice to protect and coddle my “baby” boy for all these years. Resulting in him being a sensitive, somewhat of a mama’s boy.
So of course, it’s just more likely, for others to approach this with disbelief of him actually being the sweetest person ever. I might as well brace myself for the compliments; leaving the “he keeps touching my head!” memories for those few who get to experience it, at home.
Another thing I find funny about this, is that you’d think that by walking next to my husband, and the two of them constantly trying to one-up each other and wrestle one another down to the ground, that it’d be a difference maker in the “he’s so sweet” comments; it doesn’t. I guess when the boy’s got some adorable lips, folks just want to default to him being a saint.
Now obviously, I get that people are just paying a sweet compliment and don’t really assume that he’s perfect, but when I’m feeling somewhat defensive because of recently lecturing him, my ears hear something completely different. Like: “How could ANY mother get upset with him! There must be something wrong with her!”
I’ve certainly considered the “bad” things that come with letting our boy’s natural personality develop. Being that this includes being softer spoken and a gentle heart, one might ask why I wouldn’t teach him to have more of a thick skin.
And I’m sure some of you have watched moms like myself – the ones that put their little guys up on a pedestal, wiping away their every tear, as their growing into the school-age – and probably thought that we’re setting our sons up for some real hard times in life. It isn’t (any longer) in my nature to be the type of woman who judges other moms on their different techniques. However, for those who feel that’s beneficial somehow, let me go ahead and sketch a more clear picture of how my line of thinking pushed this mom to let our boy’s personality form him to become the special guy he is:
*This was and is my only son.
My little man always had this awesome, loving outlook on life since he was young; he also remained somewhat reserved, often watching all of us for how we’d react or feel about different things. I don’t deny that I was still just immature enough to believe this good-natured kid was because of any of my doing.
OK, well, maybe it was just a bit…
My son was the polar opposite to my oldest girl’s personality, who was outgoing and peppy from birth. And though my second daughter also had a very curious interest in people, the influence of her older sister turned her just as outgoing and peppy (with a bit more sass) at an early age. Then you’ve got me: coming off very direct and seemingly sure of what I wanted.
So even though the world teaches us, and even more so at this time, that we should raise our little girls as feminine and proper, and our little boys to be protectors, or “manly”, my own motherly instincts suggested that I just embrace his sweet innocence.
*He was the first child who was a BOY that I could stand being around in my “adult” years.
In my opinion, kids were awful and loud; little dirty heathens, and specifically the little guys, who were certainly not what I’d refer to as pleasant to be around. These kids, from my perspective then, were all behaved in what I liked to call “Take Me Straight to Hell”. I wasn’t that girl that was anxiously waiting for kids one day, if you can’t tell, but I loved each of my babies and of course, they were the exceptions.
*He’ll eventually change.
And that scares me. I’m scared of this f***ed up world influencing him to be anything other than the way that God created him so uniquely to be; as well, that he won’t appreciate what an amazing person he already is (I’ve mentioned that he’s amazing, right?).
To add to that, my crazy will go into overdrive, if anyone attempts to destroy this boy’s spirit.
All of this could sum up the reasons for me embracing all of him, as he is and will be. The reasons for him having any bad behavioral habits, should only come from me and his dad; that way we can make excuses for us teaching him the wrong things, then keep going forward.
But should anyone else play a major part in it, my line of thoughts might escape reality..and cause me to start reading up on the best ways to deal large amounts of pain to someone’s kneecaps. AND..this is what we’re dealing with.
*I had a love affair with Eminem..In my mind, of course.
Eminem does whatever the hell Eminem wants, with a middle finger raised to anyone who tries to tell him otherwise. BUT, Eminem also has a line that he walks, when it comes to his daughter.
My heart belonged to Eminem at one time, so naturally, my pulse quickened when I found out there was an attainable man that exuded very similar qualities: rebelling against popular opinions; would lay down his life before letting anyone hurt those he loved. This was clearly a sealed deal for me.
My own personal version of Eminem in the flesh! Ok, not really, but you get the point.
A Perfect Gentleman
I believe that others put negative connotations on men who aren’t afraid to show their softer side; however, I think it screams “confidence” out pretty loudly, when a young man’s a natural gentleman..and if he can handle a football on top of that?? (OR if he’s Eminem.) You’re welcome, future daughter-in-law.
PS. C’mon, do I really think the infatuation I had (SEE, honey? Had!) for Eminem really played some part in my being welcoming to our boy continuing to develop his natural God-given qualities? I suppose that’s a bit of a stretch…
Did I really have an internal love affair with Eminem? My lips are sealed. Besides, a woman should never kiss and tell..imaginary or otherwise!
*My boy, with his sweet personality, is better than your boy, who needs more class.
My feeling is, that a few people who think that young men should be brought up differently than the way we’ve gone about things, will identify similarly to the parents who are standing by the wayside, watching Sweet Little Johnny..with his sailor mouth running, at teachers and students alike, showing a non-existent level of class and grace. Moms like myself despise behaviors such as these.
Not cute in the slightest. Pretty damn pathetic, actually.
So. There ya go! You may now go ahead with kicking me out of the Booster Club.
Completely on a serious note though, here’s my last thoughts on it:
I’ve got this sweet boy, who God blessed me with. At the age of around 5 years old, he nearly drowned, giving me and my husband one of the biggest scares of our life (i.e. guilt-tripping ourselves beyond belief). When I think of being here now without him, I could start sobbing hysterically and quite possibly never stop.
Mothers understand their children’s hearts, we just do; but we always wonder if people will ever see the same magnificent beings that we do. In retrospect, had that awful night not occurred, maybe I’d not have dropped everything to help him with each tiny task, or cuddle quite as much, for quite as long.
Instead, I might have gone along with the rest of the herd, and said “Boys don’t do (whatever)” or many other very unfortunate statements. Thinking about it further, it didn’t end up making him more sensitive, because that’s just who he is! What it did, was take away a bit of my rough edges, and made me more sensitive, to my son’s personality.
I Get It
Yes, I know that some of you are shaking your heads all over the place at me. You’re thinking I’m a coddling mom, but I don’t want you to misunderstand.
I’m not an overbearing mother! Far from it. I give my kids the opportunity to go do things that make me cringe on the inside.
My mother raised my brother and I on her own for a great part of our upbringing. And she’s the first to admit that she’d try to protect us from the smallest of things, until our stepfather came along, suggesting that she loosen up the reigns a little.
Because I Said So
And I know many moms now, that believe saying “no” frequently is the best way to teach their kids to stay away from potentially harmful things! I’m somewhere in the middle, I suppose.
There’s so much more to come after adolescence, so WHEN I screw up, he’s going to have many other chances, to later do bigger screw-ups than mine! Which will end up making the ones that I do, almost cancel out!
Look at me, a completely regular citizen, despite not being able to walk with my friends down to the corner store at the bottom of the hill. Completely regular, y’all! Some of the time. Xoxoxo