I came home from working out yesterday and saw my two youngest sons standing in the kitchen. The baby of my bunch (he’s 11) was holding an egg slicer with an unpeeled cutie in it over a cup and squeezing with all his might. I asked them what they were doing and they responded, “Making fresh squeezed orange juice!” My response was, “Well that’s not going to work.” I did wonder why they were putting so much effort into that when there’s a juicer sitting on the counter. Is that innovation or wasted energy? It’s hard to tell. Nevertheless I’ll pick up orange juice on my way home today.
Remind me to tell you about the family meeting we had last night.
On any given day I hear Stud Muffin (7) or Little Dude (8) say, “let me show you how a man does it!” They are usually saying this to each other since Honeygirl and I aren’t all that interested in how a man does something and the Teenager is usually somewhere being a teen. I do watch them when this is occurring because it’s funny and I’ve learned that a man will do lots of manly things if someone is watching and gives him praise.
The Teenager is the person in charge of bug and critter disposal. The younger boys scream like a girl if they see a gecko or even a beetle. Now mind you even the girl doesn’t scream like a girl when she sees a bug but that’s neither here nor there. One morning Stud and Dude were in the kitchen, the other two were still asleep, when I heard a scream. I ran to the kitchen to see Stud pointing at a bug. Little Dude said, “let me show you how a man does it.” He grabbed a paper towel, picked up the bug and put it in the trash. After which his chest was stuck out, his head was held high and he looked at his brother and said, “that’s how a man does it!” I smiled and walked back to my room. I hear that phrase at various time during the day. I always smile at them when they show how a man does something.
Yesterday, Stud Muffin was sitting at the table drinking a cup of hot apple cider. He said, “mom, look at me I’m being a maaaan.” I turned my head to look at him and asked if he wanted to show me his cider mustache, he replied no. I asked him if he had just done something. He replied, no, I’m just sitting here being a man. I nodded and smiled at him.
I don’t pretend to know what it takes to be a man but I have learned what it takes to encourage and speak life into a man. Sometimes it doesn’t require any action on my part. I am honored to have the privilege to watch them transform from boys to men.