I have a sister. One very reserved sister. My parents were quiet. Not at all the adventurous sorts.
So imagine, if you will, my shock at raising, not one, not two, but three sons. Nothing prepared me for it. Reading books about child-rearing didn’t give an accurate picture. Spending time with other moms of sons didn’t help all that much either because they were in their own bubble of confusion. MOMD wasn’t a great resource because he was one of THEM.
An online reference tool defines shock as:
ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: from French choc (noun), choquer (verb), of unknown origin. The original senses were [throw (troops) into confusion by charging at them] and [an encounter between charging forces,] giving rise to the notion of [sudden violent blow or impact.]
My guys aren’t violent and they never “charged” at me as the definition states. However, sometimes their actions and thoughts threw the troops (other moms and myself) into a state of confusion. Often.
Here’s what got me thinking about this. I saw a video on a social media site today that made me laugh out loud because I could have pictured all of my sons and their friends doing this, had they thought of it. It was a guy on a water slalom ski behind a boat, attempting to catch fish with a net. There was another contraption incorporated in this event which I won’t even try to explain. My point is that as soon as I saw it I thought of my guys.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought of such a thing. When my hooligans and their hooligan friends would invent equally kooky things I would shake my head and wonder where these ideas came from. Of course these great ideas of theirs always involved an element of danger.
A dear friend and her husband went away for their anniversary weekend and she asked if her son could stay at our home. He practically lived at our house anyway so why not? At some point during the weekend I heard what sounded like footsteps on the roof. It was October, not December, so I knew it was too early for Santa and Rudolph to make an appearance. Going outside to investigate I was aghast to find two relatively bright teenaged boys playing a nice game of frisbee on my roof! Why had they thought this was a good idea? Today, when I brought this all up again I received this response…”At least they are wearing helmets. Still safer than roof Frisbee. We set the standard high.” How could I NOT love him?
There was another discussion with one of the other hooligans and his friend about their invention. His comment, when I tagged him? “Looks like a good time to me… Right up there with our sailboard J!”
These are grown men that still think these are good ideas, people!
I remember well when the mother of that guy called to tell me about the “sailboard” her son and mine had created. It involved a skateboard, a sail of some sort and perhaps a bicycle. She was watching out the window as one of her daughters had been talked into being the human guinea pig for this frightful experience. Sailing down the street. How DID those boys come up with such a thing? I laughed even harder when I read this response: “I will have you know that thing was awesome and fast! I would think the inventive spirit would have encouraged confidence in our abilities as adults.”
So many other stories come to mind but those will have to wait. As I said in the title, nothing prepared me! Nothing prepared me for the worry, the questions, but, ultimately, the fun of raising sons. Creativity, humor, sensitivity are a few of the words that come to mind when I think of those guys. Don’t tell my other son but, actually, that inventive spirit did encourage confidence in their abilities as adults! They have not disappointed.