Raising boys.

by Davina on February 15, 2013


Over 4 years ago.

How does that happen?  How does four years go by that fast?  How does your son go from being a tiny little 10 year old to a man-boy that’s taller than you with a deep voice and broad shoulders?

And my heart skips a little beat knowing that this one-second-moment-of-the-last-four-years is more time than I actually have left to have him in my home…my life…full time.  How is it possible to have my heart breaking at the same time that it’s bursting with excitement over the man he’s becoming?

Four years ago I wrote:

Last night Emmett had a huge disappointment…the first loss during a season with his football team.  All of the boys were very sad and all of them knew that they could play better but for some reason just couldn’t seem to get their head and their hearts on the same page.  It could have been that the game was a last minute make up for bad weather or it could have been the Goliath boys that were on the other team that would make any mom wonder if her son would come out on the other side of the game or if they will be making another trip to the hospital.

No matter what the reason was for the performance of their game there really, truly are more important things than winning a game.

After all of the kids were in bed last night I laid in bed reading “Boys Should Be Boys”  by Meg Meeker.  (If you don’t have this book and you have boys you NEED this book!).  Because I was desperate for some help on the matter, of what to say to Emmett after such a devastating game, I knew I had to read before falling off to sleep.  I had started to read from the first page a few weeks ago but hadn’t picked it back up since then.  I checked the index for football and disappointment but  didn’t find what I needed.  I decided to look at the table of contents and was thrilled to see a chapter called “10 things you need to know to raise a boy”.  Yay!. My favorite thing:  LISTS.  And a top 10 list to boot.

That top 10 list was just what I needed to read.  Emmett is a very sweet boy.  He tries hard, likes to do everything well, he tries to be patient, and he watches out for his sisters (even if he does know how to tease them in just the right way).  He expects a lot of himself and gets pretty bugged when he performs below his own expectations.  He is extremely smart and is an excellent friend.

One of the things on the top 10 list is: Raise Him From The Inside Out.  When I read this tip it was the exact help I was looking for.   “He knows that good grades are better than bad, that scoring a touchdown is better than fumbling the ball, that hitting the high note is better than missing it.  But he needs to know what you think of him as a person.  Do you like what you see beneath the stuff he does–his character, the deeper parts of who he is?”

So…this morning as he sat at the counter with his sisters eating his breakfast before catching the bus that comes wayyy too early at 6:50am I told him about the deeper parts of him, about the stuff that really makes me proud of him, the stuff that matters.  I love to see him help his team make a touchdown but what I love seeing even more is that he’s nice to the boys on the team that are having a tough time, that he watches out for and protects his sisters, that he loves to learn and works hard to understand things and to help others understand without making them feel less than.  I love that he loves God and that he wants to be good.  I love that the core of him is sweet, understanding, giving and at the same time all boy, exploring, discovering, and making forts out in the woods.

And even though last night out on that field it was an extremely disappointing night and he felt like crying… I’m happy that he held it in but that when he got home he felt safe enough to share his disappointment and loss and sadness. (Another great point that this book makes is that boys have the ‘boy code’ that you don’t cry in front of your peers.  And that’s an okay code.  It teaches boys self-control and self-mastery.  However, they need to feel safe enough once they get home to be able to spill that emotion and know that they can talk about whatever sadness they feel.  Reading this last night at midnight and realizing that I have an incredible husband who went in and talked to Emmett in his room and let him feel all the sadness that he was feeling on the field was a gift to me.  I was filled with love and gratitude for being blessed with a man who is a special bit of grace as a dad to our kids.)

Emmett is an amazing boy, full of life, emotion, giving, running, jumping, exploring, reading, learning, and love.  I’m so glad that he is in my life, that he’s made it more full, more wonderful, and more real than it ever would have been with out him.

**I made sure that Emmett was okay with this post before I published it.**

Four years later…I love the deeper parts of who Emmett is.  In fact, those deeper parts astound me…even now.

How old will your son be in four years?  What do you hope for him?  What are the deeper parts of who he is? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


davinafearfacesDavina Fear has been known to put Napoleon Dynamite quotes inside the toilet lid as a surprise for the next person.  Her kids think she’s crazy.

She’s glad that she began creating awesome photo stories of her family over 10 years ago.  She’ll help you capture your own photo stories, too, in her Familyness Photo Workshop.

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