Tuesday, July 16, 2019

"Mom, I'm mad at you!"

“Mom, I’m mad at you!”

I didn’t know these words could bring me so much comfort.

You see, I’m raising a boy.

A boy who instinctively wants to tackle. Who is drawn to motors, wheels, and super heroes in a way that feels unfamiliar to me.

And, I feel a responsibility that is also unfamiliar.

I feel responsible for creating an environment that makes it safe for him to explore his natural interests. And instincts. Because while his interests include a whole bunch of things that are classically masculine by our society’s standard - that is not him in his entirety. His instincts, they include being sad when a friend is not nice. And angry with big expressions when things don’t go his way. And kind in subtle and gentle ways. 

It feels important to embrace all these facets of his little soul at the impressionable age of three.

Because, our boys. I don't think they're okay.

While the roles of women have evolved {with a long journey still ahead}, the roles our boys play in our society have been slower to evolve. I believe my son can be his full self if we create an environment that is welcoming. And, somehow, this feels at the root of where we are as a country.

So, I’m trying hard to do my part.

To tell my son to share his feelings.

All of them.

The big ones that want to erupt as punches.

And the little ones that stop a friend in the hall to tell her she looks beautiful.

Even the ones that come out in the succinct phrase of; “Mom, I’m mad at you!”

I simply thank him for telling me.

Reassuring him that we all get mad.

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