Raising Sons

Is not for the faint of heart. The frogs in the pockets, baseballs through the window and black eye at recess are not the part that has made me sit down. Fielding questions of identity, friendships and ability have left me wanting backup. "Mom I suck at this!" Makes me want to break into a million pieces for them. "Mom I aced it!" Makes me bake a cake. Raising good men, I was told by a seasoned mom, 3 Otis boys in, is a job this world desperately needs.

Sheff is an amazing role model. His expectations of his sons may seem at times daunting. Hard work, followthrough and unwavering respect. They watch him like baby hawks, seeing how he treats me, seeing how he talks on the phone, seeing how he blows off steam (sports anyone?) They see him get up every Sunday, cabin, city, tournament or not and go to Church.

Any girl remembers a boy who treated her poorly, it stinks. I want my boys to remember their sisters, their mother, their grandmother when they think about how to treat a girl. I strive to have sons that say thank you, sons that make eye contact, sons that enjoy their family, sons that look out for each other (we need work in this area with some), and sons that have their own deep personal faith. I want to raise men who are loving and kind, who work through problems and find creative solutions, men who take responsibility for spilled milk or big world man stuff.

That said, boys are an awesome gift. They make me laugh, say things I never thought I would say. My boys hug me and make me feel like queen of the world (just like their Dad) and I am am forever grateful I get to raise 5 of them with a man I profoundly respect. Do they make me nuts somedays, most days? Yes! Especially since our youngest should have aptly been named Dennis.

But I won't ever give up on striving to raise good men,  I expect them to have fun weddings with lots of DANCING! The dancing will create memory loss about the gold cross someone bit "to see if it was real gold!" The permanent marker on the back of the house "to practice my letters!" The calls from the principals office, "But mom I am only 6!" The cut up track jacket and mangled tennis racket ; "I was trying to make a kite so you guys wouldn't have to buy me one!" and, of course, the "you have so many kids I didn't think you would notice an animal living under my BED!" Yup LOTS of dancing in my future.


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