I walk through today’s spring and my mind curls around thoughts of my boys. I need shelter. Today is a day when I have to remind myself of the magic of boys. You see, everyday life with my boys is like squeezing handfuls of stars. There’s sparkles all over, there’s laughter and screams and there’s fighting. Manners begone, some days cannot carry such load, it’s like walking on a tight rope with a basket of apples on your head. Could you, would you? Boys don’t. The know-it-all ones call it high energy. Whatever. Piling in thick fat heaps is this desire to give them what I think matters most.The courage to be real and speak their words, the courage to live their truth. How is that done? I want them tall and strong, yet humble and loving. I want them to be quiet when tears are being cried, to listen. I want them to open their arms and understand. I want them to ask for what’s theirs and know how to draw that line in the sand that will keep them baddies away. I want them to trust and be bold. I want them to love loneliness as much as they love people.
“Mom, can someone walk through fire and come out unburned?”… No, fire burns. No, wait, you can. People do it. How do they? I want my boys to be self-sufficient, I want them to know to say “enough” and “no.” I look back at all the times I gave them the anti-meaning of both. Guilt seeps through the cracks of my heart. When and how does one learn to be a parent? We parent ourselves through the birth of our children. We become children with them once again while wearing big people shoes. Noisy, clumsy. Sometimes we need hugs and reassurance as much as they do.
No one can know more about the child cradled in your arms than you do. Your child. Yet inadequacy takes over ever so often. What children do or don’t do does not align with what’s expected of them. Then what? When do we start pushing them towards the barren of places of “you must fit the mold” afraid they’ll lose the start? Is it fair to push them if the time is not right yet? Not ripe yet… I’m ready to fight this one. Raw instincts fight back. When do we tell them to let go of themselves so they float like the rest of them? Why? Swim with your head in the water so you’ll go the distance. Don’t look up or to the side, you might see things, you’ll fall behind. You can’t. I won’t say it. Lagging when there’s no room for laggers is a serious offense they say. Head in the water, catch up, no more playing games and wondering at things. Still, I won’t say it. Should kids be allowed
to lag and look at all things wondrous and magic? It is in the eyes of the beholder, you’ll say. That’s exactly the point. How are we to know what touches one’s heart and makes the mind expand.
Here’s to them not getting lost along the way. Lost from themselves, from magic, from being boys. Here’s to them knowing when they’re ready to jump and having the courage to do so. Here’s to them knowing when they cannot turn around and walk away, here’s to them knowing when they should walk away. To them knowing they have choices. Here’s to me being there for them. And here’s to them knowing that. “Mom, can we play that game where I’m trying to get away and you try to stop me? No, not like that. Yeah, like that… Now you have to let go…” Trust. Knowing when they’re ready. Knowing they will be.
The secret, our secret, as I came to realize is that when my boys fill the air with laughter and tumbles their voices sound clearer. I can hear them loud and clear when I laugh and tumble with them. Even when they whisper. I whisper back. They hear me. My boys. Never lost. Just boys.