Monday, March 25, 2013

Raising Men

This was the view from my front door this morning.  Somewhere under that pile of snow are my Easter flowers.  Off to the right, next to the pole, is my little snow covered Easter bunny.  Can you see his ears?  Turns out the 100% chance of snow forecast was correct. 

Happy Spring from the Midwest where snowbunnies are popping up in yards around us. 
True Story.

We did not take a full Snow Day today, but after a few hours of school work, the Engineer and I bundled up and made a traditional snowman in our front yard.  Neither one of us thought we could pull off a bunny.  The Engineer and Hubby shoveled snow off our driveway and then enjoyed a snowball fight. 

We have been complaining about this Never Ending Winter for several weeks now, but today we just accepted it and enjoyed some Fun in the Snow.  It's not the same as Fun in the Sun, but since that's not the offering in the Midwest at this time, we are making the best of it and trying to have a Rosie Outlook.

After has to warm up and stop snowing at some point, right?  If it doesn't, I might start crying for a ticket to the Beloved Southwest where I know there is warmth and sun - not only in the weather, but in people I love there as well. 

As I peek out the window, I discover the snow has stopped falling.  I have homemade Chicken Noodle Soup cooking on the stove. It is warm and toasty inside our home, and in a bit I plan to enjoy my March Quest, settle into the Hug Chair, and read a little more of Praying for Strangers.

Now that you have enjoyed the Midwest weather about some sports news?  As you may recall...I mentioned March Madness basketball and the 15th ranked Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles in my last post.  Yesterday they made history by being the very first 15th rank team to ever make the Sweet Sixteen.  They are the lowest rank team to every do so, as a matter of fact. 

Don't you just love a fabulous underdog story?  I sure do.  And it seems to me that this wide-eyed, super excited, surprise wonder of March Madness is filled with inspiring young men who are taking in every minute of this experience with joy and confidence. 

I had never heard of this school or their team before.  I have no connection with them in any way, but boy do I cheer for them!  I hope they make it all the way to the Final Four!

Yesterday, not only did we watch snow fall all day long, and the surprise win of the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast, but we also celebrated a very special day in our house - the birth of our first born son, our Scientist.  He turned 20 years old yesterday and Hubby and I are no longer the parents of teens, but the parents of a teen and a twentysomething. 

That, my friends, is the weirdest feeling.  I can't explain it, it just is.  Time is screaming by at an insane pace and Hubby and I are just trying to hold on while we raise MEN.  Babies...that quickly toddled into little boys...then ran full blast into teenagers...are now one by one coolly strolling into MEN. 

Just a few years ago, we were standing along the sidelines of a high school soccer game.  It was a rough game, and our Scientist ended up crashing to the ground.  His coach ran out to the field and knelt down beside him.  One of my friends standing next to me commented on how well I was handling it and annouced that if it were her son she would have run out on the field to check on him. 

I told her it was hard for me to see my son lying on the field in pain, but I could not run out there because I was raising men.  She gasped at my words.  Her sons were a few years younger and she was not ready to think of it that way. 

The next school year, there we were at a basketball game and this time one of her sons went down during the game.  I'm sure she really wanted to run out on the court, but she didn't.  Instead, I reached out and gave her a bit of comfort.  She was doing a good job.  She was raising men.

It's really hard for moms to raise men.  It's hard to stand back and let them experience the difficult parts of life, but sometimes we have to do this just so they can grow up to become strong men.  I'm sure you have met a few adult boys in your lifetime.  Of course, I have as well.  It makes me sad for them, and it makes me work harder to stick with raising mine into men.  I don't want to raise adult boys. 

There is a popular children's book about a mother and son.  In this story, the mother rocks her baby son and sings to him that he will always be her baby.  As the boy grows, the mother continues to do this all the way until he is an adult living in his own house.  Even then, the mother drives to the son's house to sing the song to him. 

Mothers of sons seem to love this book, but I have to admit I have never really liked it.  I get the message of the mother always loving her son.  That is a wonderful message.  When the mother is old, the son sings the song to the mother, and then goes home and sings the song to his own baby.  It's a very sweet story and I do understand why it touches so many moms.

However...I have reasons why I have never cared for this book.  Just like any other mother, I tease my boys that they will always be my babies, but the truth is...they won't.  And that's okay.  It really is.  I don't want them to always be my babies.  I want them to grow up and be amazing men.

That doesn't mean I won't always love them like only a momma can, but I think in wanting them to grow, mature, and be men of worth, I am loving them the best I can.

The book I prefer is Sam McBratney's Guess How
Much I Love You.   This sweet little read about Little Nutbrown Hare and Big Nutbrown Hare trying to outdo each other on guessing how much they love each other (just before Little Nutbrown Hare is tucked into bed) is a favorite with my guys and me.

Although the main characters are male, of course I can still relate to this story as a mother.  At the end, Little Nutbrown Hare "wins" by telling Big Nutbrown Hare, "I love you right up to the moon,' because nothing could be farther than the sky." 

But then, Little Nutbrown Hare falls asleep, and Big Nutbrown Hare tells his sleeping little hare, "I love you right up to the moon - and back." 

My guess is...Little Nutbrown Hare will never know or understand how much Big Nutbrown Hare truly loves least not until he has a Little Nutbrown Hare of his own.

Earlier today, after snowball fights and making snow angels, Hubby graded our Engineer's Algebra II math test he took today.  Together we celebrated the 100% he earned.  He works very hard on his school work and has set some great goals with his eye on college just a little over two years away. 

Our Engineer is very good about helping around the house.  He's a careful driver.  He's loving, but firm with the Twins.  We are pleased with the choices he makes.

Yesterday we called our Scientist at the perfect time.  Just as he answered FaceTime, we watched as he was surprised by a pancake with a candle on top.  We got to share in singing Happy Birthday to him with a group of his friends. 

We wished him well, said goodbye to his great group of friends, and hung up.  Hubby and I know he has made some great decisions at college.  He has chosen wonderful friends.  He has made good choices with his social time.  He's taking tough classes and working toward a promising future. 

We are proud of the men they are becoming, but we also know our job isn't quite finished yet.  They are really great guys, but they still need us from time to time to help, guide, instruct, and love on them.  And that's okay...because we are raising men and we love them right up to the moon...and back.

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