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Posts Tagged ‘Boys’

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Remember that little ‘ditty’ from childhood?

What are little boys made of?

Frogs and snails

And puppy-dogs’ tails,

That’s what little boys are made of.

It speaks of adventure and investigation and outdoors and curiosity and twinkling eyes and dirt and wonder. Or, if you are a girl (aka. a “sugar and spice and everything nice” kinda girl), you might say it speaks of dirt and gross things and more dirt and lots of ouie stuff!

I am okay with that little ‘ditty’ because it is ‘cute’ … and it says nothing about snakes! (I hate snakes!)

Although, according to Wikepedia (or ‘Earl’ as I like to say … it is so easy to add info. to Wikepedia that I figured that most of the ‘knowledge’ we get from there is actually accumulated by a guy named Earl, who lives with his cousin/wife, in a trailer out in the dessert, where you can see things like buzzards and possum), ‘snakes’ is part of some versions of said ‘ditty’, but I am very okay to say it without.

I had an experience one day while my beast and I were out walking in the sunshine, that made this ‘ditty’ come alive for me. I think I jumped (or was pushed … squirming) into the heart and soul and mind of the author.

The sun was shining bright (I remember the sun! I remember what it feels like … dry, and I remember how it looked … bright, but, right now, it is a fond and distant memory), and a dad and his two sons biked by.

Later on I heard words that make me squirm “Dad, I found a snake” (I swear they are stalking me! All this time I was fearful of getting eaten by a carnivore like a bear, but it’s the reptiles who are really out to get me). Sadly the only ‘fork’ in the path was the snakes tongue, so I had to keep going in the direction of ‘it’ (but the fear in this yellow-bellied reptile almost convinced me to turn around, shortening my walk and forfeiting the ability to ‘eat more later, because I burned all those calories walking’).

When I got close enough to see the boy who had yelled out to his dad (those words that made me shake in my boots), I realized that I knew him, and his brother and his dad.

This boy, at the time, had just enterend high school, and the adjustments of the last few years into adolescence have not been easy for him. He can be quiet, can seem disinterested in life, can be sullen, and walks in a way that communicates ‘please don’t notice me’.

But that day, holding a … snake (thankfully up on a hill, away from the path, where my beast and I were trodding), he was a healthy, fun-loving, adventurous, investigative, outdoorsy, twinkling-eyed, dirty … wonder-filled boy!

And, because of that, because I could see wonder up on ‘them thar hills’, I walked ‘towards’ the snake (and this could be a picture of how sin draws us in … ha! ha! ha! … naa, I would rather think it is evidence that God can use ANY part of His creation to show us beauty, and wonder).

So, I walked up, and saw the ugly, slimy, dirty, gross, ouie reptile, that filled his normally vacant eyes to eyes filled with wonder.

From now on, that little ditty will always say ‘snakes and snails and puppy-dogs’ tails’.

I found wonder in a snake!

 

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A conversation a long while back still haunts me.

My daughter had the look of one who wanted to spill information that she knew, so we did some errands where we would be driving (nothing like the wheels of a vehicle moving to get a teenager to talk) a significant amount.

It took no time for the story to enfold.

She told me about her friend. Her friend, at the time, was a girl of just fourteen. She had a boyfriend. According to what my daughter said (because she is a question ‘asker’ and she had asked her friend what the two of them talk about together), her friend and the boyfriend didn’t spend much time talking, because there was not much for them to talk about to each other. The two had discussed the details (I guess they found a topic that they wanted to talk about), of when and where they would have sex for the first time. And so, when mom was out, and the house empty, they did IT.

The story does not end there. The next day the daughter asked her mother for oral birth control (I am not sure if she fessed up to mom about her recent sexual explorations). Her mother grounded her for two weeks.

So, now we have a young girl, who is dating a guy who she has nothing to talk about with, who is having sex, who is wise enough to know that birth control is a good idea, whose mother chooses to not only say no to, but, rather than sit down and have an exploratory conversation, grounds her. Yikes! It is the perfect storm of situations!

How is it that, in this day and age, a mother could be so uncommunicative with her daughter? How is it that, in this day and age, a girl could think that having sex with someone who she has nothing to talk about with (other than sex) is a good idea? I keep hearing the voice of the Virginia Slims cigarette ads saying “you’ve come a long way baby” and thinking … really? I keep thinking of the book by Laura Schlessinger “10 Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives” and thinking … will it ever end?

There is a line that I frequently quote to my daughters, that comes from the classic Louisa May Alcott book, Little Women, “I will not have my daughters being silly about boys.” Although they are fully human young women, I greatly desire that they grow up knowing that their value is not in temporary pursuits (and especially when it comes to young men), but in who God has created them to be, and the purpose and intent He has for their lives, apart from romantic or sexual relationships. They are, indeed, sexual beings, but oh, they are so much more! I truly believe that they must seek God’s best for them, as individuals, before they begin down the path of life with another person, and their life’s direction.

It is with fear and trepidation that I co-parent these two precious ladies … fear and trepidation that brings me to my knees! And that is a good place to be.

While on my knees I pray for openness of communication, and for wisdom to help them grow to be wise.

“I want my daughters to be beautiful, accomplished, and good.
To be admired, loved, and respected.
To have a happy youth, to be well and wisely married,
and to lead useful, pleasant lives,
with as little care and sorrow to try them as God sees fit to send.”
Little Women

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Today I will go to see my son play football for the first time!

Way back in April, hubby was telling me how much our boy wanted to play football this year. I had my doubts … doubts that our son was the one who wanted to play football. You see hubby loves football! He played in high school. When we met, and were first married, he coached high school football for about seven years. And, he loved it, and he was good!

But, our son … although he physically looks like a clone of hubby, and his mannerisms endorse that cloning possibility, his interests tend to be different from his dads. And, I was really not feeling confident that it was our son who was understanding of the level of commitment and physical exertion that would be required to play on a football team.

I was pretty sure that dad was hoping to live vicariously through son.

But, I was so wrong!

Although he is not yet twelve, and one of the youngest players on his team. He has been practicing three hours a week, since later June. And now that the game season has begun, practice hours are at four and a half, plus games. And he cannot wait to get to a single practice! And he watches the clock, so that he can be ready to go. And he comes home, totally exhausted, saying it was great (even when he gets knocked onto his behind regularly). And he loves his coach. And he loves playing with the guys.

And … he loves that it is just he and his dad :), because his dad, is also one of the coaches on the team.

His dad, more than genetic material, and disciplinarian, and caregiver … is his greatest hero. It is his dad whose opinion matters most to him, It is his dad whose every word, every step he watches, and tries to emulate. Even though their personalities are so different, he knows that it is in his dads heart and life, that he can see his own future.

In the past couple of years, as adolescence has been rearing it’s head, I have been silently mourning the loss of MY little boy. But, this summer, as I see the bond of father and son developing more strongly, more tightly, I am mourning less and celebrating more.

I can love my son tenderly and I can be the first to receive hugs from him (and wonderful bear hugs they are), but I cannot give to him the one thing he needs most … a model of what it is to be a man, and a model of what it is to be a man after God’s heart. It is in the model of who my hubby is, and wants to be, that our son can see hope for his own future, as he grows into manhood.

I am so thankful for the dad my son (and daughters) has. I know he will have the courage and wisdom to coach our son from the experiences (positive and negative) that he has had so far. And, he will also have the wisdom to tackle him into a bear hug, through the years to come.

And I will willingly sit in the bleaches, cheering them on, as he and our son grow and learn together.

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