Monday, November 19, 2012

The Differences In Boys

A few years ago one of our kids was having some medical issues and so we were driving an hour back and forth to and from San Antonio often. Because we seemed to spend more time in our car those days than we did at home we ate a lot of Mc Donald's and the boys became well acquainted with happy meals and happy meal toys. I don't remember what the theme for the toy was at that time but it was some sort of super hero thing. Our sons kept getting the same character over and over. We tried to soften the blow by showing excitement about the toy before passing it to the back seat of the van.

On one occasion the boys had brought along a few Mc Donald's toys from previous meals (several of the same character). We stopped for happy meals and pulled out of the bag, none other than the famous match to their already growing stash. We talked it up big and passed it back.

"What can I do with all of these?" Our older son, Isaiah, asked glumly.
"I know, " I responded enthusiasticly. "Why don't you have them fight each other!" Because what good mother doesn't encourage violence when raising young boys.
With pure joy Isaiah said, "ok". And immediately a fight broke out among his super heros.
Elijah, his younger brother looked horrified and asked "Or could they just be friends?" Bless his sensitive heart.
"Of course they can Elijah." I smiled and his super heros began to happily play together.

I have always known our boys were different. To begin with they look nothing alike. Isaiah was blessed with my apparent eversion to growth and is also skinny with straight blond hair. Elijah is stocky with his daddy's dark brown curls. Things I took into account when buying clothes and planning hair cuts, but I was not considering their other differences when relating to them. Certainly I was not careful about how I talked to them or the things I said to them. Isaiah is a fighter, a protector. I am confident that if somebody were to break in and try to hurt one of us Isaiah would be armed and ready. He likes a playful punch on the arm, a sarcastic answer and a little rough housing to feel at home and loved! I speak that language well and can totally relate to him.

 Elijah, however, is sensitive - a peace maker, lover of all things! With him I have to be so careful. I have to reign in my dry sarcastic responses, tone down the teasing and throw a whole lot of cuddling into our play time. This is a life style I am not so familiar with (although I do love me some snuggle time) but it's what my little boy craves.

It is my job as a mother to know my kids - to understand what drives them, encourages them, makes them feel secure. When I understand what motivates them I can more effectively discipline. I can be the mom they need individually rather than just - mom my way - take it or leave it! I can be a better friend, confidant, interim girlfriend, therapist, and teacher.

I am so grateful I do not have two cookie cutter boys. They are 100% God fashioned for their very own purposes.  I also love that I have had to stretch myself with these two individuals. It is impossible to be selfish and be a good mom. It is impossible to stay in your own comfort zone and be a good mom. It is impossible to be immoveable and be a good mom. I want to be a good mom and this requires change on my part!

My handsome boys, Isaiah (left) Elijah (right)
and of course their angry birds, it's not easter without some angry birds.

 P.S. I LOVE comments! Please don't be shy!