Adam was out of town for a few days last week, so the boys and I ventured out to Target (where else?) to walk around and break up the l-o-n-g weekend. After receiving the second "Three boys, huh?" observation of the day I took a breath and we looped around the store to the little people clothes. We passed by rows and rows of pink shirts with words like "sweet" printed across them, and as we made our way over to the boy section, I could hardly find a single item without skulls and crossbones plastered all over it. I was a little girl once, and I can tell you with complete certainty that my demeanor and character as a child was not at all determined by (or reflective of) the fact that I wore dresses and hair bows instead of superhero costumes and baseball caps. I adored baby dolls and loved all things girly, but I was also rough and loud, I was mean and feisty, I fought with my sisters, I yelled, I disobeyed, I ran off babysitters, I threatened to run away. I got older, I was disrespectful, I argued, I broke rules, I lied. I was a mess. Sugar and spice? Not so much. My mom was put through more with this girl than any mother should have to endure.
The world today leaves our young men broken and ill-prepared, choosing lust over love, wealth over worth and recreation over responsibility. The media-made man is portrayed as lazy, ignorant, sex-driven, insensitive and incapable.
SOMEWHERE DURING OUR FIGHT TO EMPOWER OUR WOMEN, WE BEGAN TO DEMEAN OUR MEN.
For every stigma and stereotype society has created, there is the exception. While I know my fair share of men that fit the description above, it is a far cry from the man I married, and no where near the direction we are working tirelessly to point our sons. We are fighting against the current, trying to hold their hearts above water so they do not get sucked under.
As we are working to build our sons up, the world is working to tear them down. What are they to think when the constant theme from onlookers is how hard, how much of a handful, how brave (brave? really?) we must be to have 3 [gasp!] little [eyebrow raise] BOYS [insert commentary here]?
My kiddos are not perfect. They think burping is funny, forget to pick up their toys, talk back when they shouldn't, are challenging at meal time, push each others buttons, whine (oh, how they can whine).
But they are not monsters, they are little people--MY little people.
They have ears that can hear snide remarks, minds that mull them over and hearts that are affected.
Why do I get the impression that many people think mothers of girls have hit the gender jackpot while all-boy families got the short end of the stick? One of the hardest parts of going out in public with my three sons is not my three sons--it's the public.
It's a disheartening battle--having to defend my children simply because they wear blue instead of pink. I am finding that many minds and opinions are already made up (and so freely spoken) before they even give my boys chance. To add insult to injury, they expect me--their mama--to nod my head along in agreement as they make their comments. I am sure that all-girl families receive comments as well. I am equally saddened by the fact that so many remarks directed at little girls are appearance driven. The emphasis on outward beauty (as defined by the world) begins so early on, planting a seed in them that can quickly become such poison as it grows. There are impossible standards and unbearable pressure placed on young ladies today. I know, firsthand, how these deep-rooted wounds can wreak havoc on the heart and mind, and the struggle it is to untangle and heal from the damage. Perhaps I am more sensitive to it all because our own daughter could not be here with us, leaving people only to comment on the three children they can see instead of the one they cannot. As the mother of three precious sons--with my only daughter in Heaven--it hurts my heart.
Nothing that Adam and I accomplish in our own lives will matter as much as the three people we've been trusted with raising. I can count the number of truly good men I have known in my life on two hands. I was brought up by a single mama that worked herself to the bone to provide for us, and an absent father that could not cope with his role and responsibilities of raising his three daughters. We need more devoted husbands, present fathers, selfless providers, unconditional protectors, Godly leaders, more GOOD MEN in this world. It is time for a change, time to break the cycle and the stigma. It starts here in the land of dirt and Lego men, amongst the heaps of laundry, family dinners and goodnight kisses.
Noah, Mason and Emmitt,
You are good people.
You are compassionate.
You are tender.
You are kind.
You are smart.
You were made with a purpose.
You are worthy.
You are wanted.
You are LOVED.
You are HIS.
I am blessed to be your mama and so proud to call each of you my son.
"Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."