Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A note to our son with some important considerations

You are just a boy (although, according to you once you turned 6 you are a 'man' now so accompanying me into the women's restroom is utterly taboo.) You are getting taller. You are branching out. You are using your own voice, your own rationale and your own decisions more and more every day. We just celebrated Mother's Day. It is a big job. It is my most important job requiring the most commitment, the most focus and the most flexibility. It is the job also providing the most reward. You are just a boy but you will become a man so I want to set down some hopes and requests for you as you travel that road. 

I will miss all the sweet things about the tiny you. How you want to cuddle at night or sleep next to us during a thunderstorm. I will miss that you wholeheartedly believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and that by donning a cape, you can easily fly like Superman. (I know I dashed this when you wanted to jump from our 3rd floor balcony and I had to tell you the tiny cape wasn't going to do the job.) I will miss giving you 'back scrackles' and the physical reality my hand once covered your entire tiny back. I will miss that you consider B., Bananas and Baby Bananas your actual buddies. I will miss the fact we can use these buddies to convey messages to you when you are salty or sour or simply don't understand why we say no when we do. I will miss the fact you want to pour your own milk but the milk is too full, the counter is still a bit high and you actually need my help. I will miss the fact you think my kisses contain some magical elixir that heals boo boos. I will miss the days when my mere presence at the end of your day sends you running, arms wide open calling ' MOMMY'.  I know the length of these days are measured. 

When you become a man or at least a more independent, older version of you, I will not try to control your every move. I will feign disinterest when you want to cut your hair like Justin Beiber (oh please don't ) wear orange corduroy pants (say it ain't so) or adopt a fake foreign accent like Madonna (really?) but I will intervene should you find yourself leading yourself astray with drugs, alcohol, porn, MTV cribs or Ed Hardy clothing. I don't know my tactics yet but believe me, I will have them at the ready when the time comes. I recently overheard two teen-age boys talking. Oh LORD, I thought to myself. As you grow and bloom, here are five things I will hope you consider: 

1. Refrain from inking a tattoo of a girls name or GOD FORBID her face on any part of your body. While this might indicate 'commitment' or 'honor' or 'true love forever' to some girls it also indicates 'yikes' and 'WTF' and "are you serious I have to look at that while we get ready to make out' to the other girls you will meet after you and the original inspiration for the tattoo break up. You dont need to put a persons name or character on your person in permanent ink. Ditto for you own name. If you have to tattoo your own name on your arm, you have lost 200 IQ points. 

2. Don't talk mean about women. Prior to marrying Daddy, I certainly dated. You don't need to know details. If I was on a date and that man mentioned his horrible ex-girlfriend, horrible female boss, or horrible girl who did him wrong, my instant response was "Delete." Yes, some people suck. No one needs a constant reminder or dissertation about it. You are an innately positive person and I hope this lasts forever. You will be disappointed. You will be hurt. How you handle these instances will speak volumes about you as a man. It won't be easy but every bump teaches you something about yourself, how you will love, how you will lead and how you want to be loved. 

3. Do not over communicate your sex life. At this point, you really love women and told me, your raven haired Mommy, that 'blond girls are much prettier than brown haired girls." Don't limit your options, son. And please don't be that man who share his exploits in granular detail with his friends. Say things like 'that girl is hot' or "Mary is a bad-ass on the ski slopes" or "my girlfriend killed her SATs" or "I love girls who volunteer to read to the blind or donate time to Habitat for Humanity." What you don't want to say are things like "I banged her" or "See that girl, I ______ her" or "Hey buddies, come over and secretly watch me doing _____ to this chick this weekend." The reality is if you say horrible things about women and what you did with them, well, other women will put you on the bricks so again, you are limiting your options. Being a man might sometimes seem like its about swagger and conquer. It's not.  The best girl in the world will be the one who loves you and challenges you at the same time. Just ask your Daddy. He loved it, then kind of didn't love it and then remembered how awesome it is and loves it again. 

4. Use caution with what you publish. Like, never ever make sex tape. This should be part of bullet point #2 but it might need its own platform. I don't really want to fathom you even considering this an option. I don't want to consider these words in the same sentence as a truth someone would actually have to tell you. The reality is you will grow up and do things and explore you own wants with a variety of people. You might marry the first girl you have sex with or you might marry the girl who falls 75th on the list. Whomever it is, let me assure you that with out a proper camera crew, lighting and serious editing no one and I do mean no one wants to watch this. If a girl tries to tell you its a good idea, beware. She might think it as her cinematic Kim Kardashian moment but it will be your Screech moment. Ugh. That will haunt you forever. Ditto for taking pictures of any part of your body and sending it to anyone. Ditto for taking selfie pics in the bathroom mirror with your shirt pulled up with your iPhone and posting them in cyber space. UGH. Ditto for taking pictures of yourself doing ANYTHING stupid and actually showing someone else never mind hundreds of people. I dont know what social media platforms you might utilize in the future but my least favorite people on Facebook are the ones who think it is 'diary' versus what it actually is 'public bulletin board'.

5. Help others. This past weekend, my heart was melty and stirring while you tried to show our neighbors 2 year old how to bat. I love that you actually handed me your fruit-sicle to help him. I love that you told me he needs someone to show him how its done. I love that you do not even realize his Daddy plays in the NBA and a pretty stellar athlete. You were so loving and sweet, it was beautiful and astonishingly emotion. With helping others is another rule: Don't be a bully. Recently, a teen-age boy, angry at a ref during a soccer game, punched that man one time in the side of the head and that man died. I will have a hard time defending such an action. Bullies suck. You learned this already in kindergarten when a boy in your class picked on a girl in your class. I want you to be able to defend yourself and I want you to love people. I want you to champion yourself, others and the underdog. Oh, I love competition but there is a certain decorum. I appreciate you are trying to learn this. I appreciate strong personalities. I appreciate strong opinions. I don't appreciate people who are mean, manipulative or arseholes. True giants know how to get what they want without being d-bags about it. Oh, d-bags get plenty, trust me, but not the right way. Don't be mean to the waiter, the maid or the janitor. T Remember that the person you might despise might be the person you are sitting across a desk from in an interview one day. 

There are so many life lessons to share. This is just your starter kit. 


Jen Feeny said...

Absolutely beautiful.

Unknown said...

Very, very good advice!

The Savage said...

Funny thing about Santa. I stopped believing when I was about four, all on my own. But when I turned twenty-four I started again.
It took me twenty years but I have that childlike wonder again. And that is something I hope Mini-Mac never loses.

The Savage said...

Funny thing about Santa. I stopped believing when I was about four, all on my own. But when I turned twenty-four I started again.
It took me twenty years but I have that childlike wonder again. And that is something I hope Mini-Mac never loses.

Tami G said...

My son just turned 18 - I want to tell him ALL of these things and a million more!!!
Great post!