I have discovered that I am too much of a girl for raising boys. Yup. I, tomboy, raised in the sticks, can do whatever boys can do, I am too much of a girl for this line of work. My boys remind me, nearly daily, that I can never out think or predict the thoughts of a boy.
Since my oldest boy was probably 5 he has played with an old rusty hatchet. My husband thought that he would have to work awfully hard at cutting himself, so we allowed him to play with it. My boys now, ages 9 and 5 have their own hatchets for helping Daddy with fire wood. Many people think we are nuts for allowing our boys such freedoms, they shouldn't be allowed to use hatchets, own pocket knives or rifles. To tell you the truth, if I were a single parent they wouldn't do any of those things. Not because I disagree with my husband's desire to raise boys into competent, strong, self-assured, adventurous men. Only because I am a girl. Apparently, way more so than I would like to believe.
My boys have done many things to prove to me that I am to much of a girl for this job. My oldest, at age 4ish, climbed a tree and got stuck. Not so unusual, except that we didn't have any trees that a four year-old could reach. The lowest branch was 6 feet off the ground. He dragged a ladder over to the tree, climbed up and got scared and was unable to figure out how to get down. The rule now is you may only climb a tree if you can do so without help. Never thought I'd have to make a tree climbing rule.
Recently I heard "Zachary caught a rat!" being yelled by my children. Unhappy as you can imagine the thought made me, I went to check to discover that in fact he was holding (with my grill tongs) a baby mole. He was beating it on the ground trying to kill it. Gross. I am way too much of a girl.
A few weeks later I hear my five year old saying that he is trying to kill the little animal living in the wood pile. He wants to trap something to kill it and clean it out and make a hat out of its skin. I am such a girl.
Today my boys made a harness. My younger and yet heavy, stocky boy, was rigged up in this harness and his older brother, Mr. Skinny as a rail, was planning to lower him off of the deck. I had to call Daddy. Sometimes a girl just has to call a man when boys are up to their antics!
I am grateful every day that I have a loving, adoring husband who balances out my girliness and helps raise these amazing little creatures called boys. It has long been my motto, women raise boys, men raise men. I know many single moms out there are struggling to raise their boys into men. It's not an easy thing. I encourage you, if you know one of these moms, give her all the support you can and if you know a man who can help mentor these boys, encourage them to do so. Girls just can't do it alone.