Raising Sons To Be Fathers
Who Are We Raising Our Sons To Be?
I often ponder the over arching philosophy that guides my parenting. It seems mine has been one of neutrality, particularly with my oldest son. I catered to his sensitivity when others were advocating for a good spanking and I loved and nurtured him much like I did my baby dolls. He has turned out pretty well, thus far, yet still I wonder. What are my dreams for him?
I’d like him to be scholar, a young man that can quote Thoreau or Shel Silverstein, recite passages from “Where The Red Fern Grows” and laugh as he remembers my reading about the antics of Fudge, younger brother to Peter Hatcher.
I’d like him to be an athlete, lean and fast and confident. A team captain that has wide arms that embrace all players and their talents. A boy that plays to win but doesn’t only play to win. He sets goals and strives to build his stamina, he quickens his pace to beat his own time but slows down to wait or cheer on the one that may not be as quick.
I’d like him to be nice. Nice in a way that when he leaves a stranger, they think to themselves, what a nice young man. The boy who gives the last donut to a younger brother, the boy who goes back to the condo to get a friend a chair without being asked, the boy that sits quietly and is often wistful as the chaos spins around him.
I’d like him to be successful. Success in the way that he will be able to support his family, work doing something that he loves, and have plenty of time to do what is most important in life, the building of relationships. Perhaps he will leave the world a better place than he found it.
I’d like him to be a good father. The kind that nurtures and nestles and chases and tussles and loves, exponentially loves each and every day.
What kind of son am I raising? I can only hope he is like the one I married, a father that is a scholar and an athlete, nice and successful, and the father that arrived ten years ago, just four years into our marriage. What a gift he has been to me and to our four children, three sons and a daughter. Yes, if they turn out at all like him, this mother’s heart will be full.