I spend a lot of time wondering who each will look like and what traits and attitudes they will get from each of us. Will one be more like me and the other more like Casey? Or are we going to have two mini-Cs running around? How similar will they be to each other?
I hope they are both strong, independent, respectful, God-loving little men.
I love thinking about Casey teaching them to hit a tennis ball, just like he taught me. He will teach them to ride a bike. He will take them to their first football game and teach them the rules.
But, these aren't the most important things Casey or I will teach these boys.
I stumbled across an article online called "15 Things a Mom Should Teach Her Boys" and really loved it, so I'm reposting it here. Most of the things on this list I think our sons will learn by watching Casey who is truly a great man (and had a great mom who taught him!). I am so excited to raise these little men and see the grown men they become.
1. The kitchen? Not just for girls. Learn to use a stove.
2. If a girl tries to change you she doesn’t really love you no matter how much you want her to.
3. Shower daily, keep your nails trim and use deodorant.
4. A dutch oven is never funny. EVER.
5. It is NEVER acceptable to break up with a girl over the phone.
6. Understand how to use basic tools.
7. When you ask a girl, “Is something wrong?” and she says, “No.” She’s lying.
8. The job of a stay-at-home mom is equally as hard as yours.
9. Table manners. Use them.
10. You will never know a stronger pull than that of your friends trying to get you to participate in their wrong doing. Resisting makes you a man. Succumbing makes you a coward.
11. NEVER use your fists to solve ANY dispute. One wrong punch could take a life and it could be yours.
12. Condoms will save your life.
13. Never use the word gay in a derogatory manner. It’s ignorant.
14. Sexting is a federal offense.
15. Real girls do not look like Victoria’s Secret models.
I really love this list, but I want to edit some of it. In particular, I take issue with 11 and 15. Christ did say to turn the other check and that should always be the initial reaction to any dispute (even one that has escalated to fists). BUT, don't let someone beat the snot out of you without defending yourself. I have no idea where that line is, but I know it exists. Also, your future wife WILL look like a Victoria Secret model to you! Even if she doesn't fit the VS stereotype, you will find her the most beautiful woman you have ever seen.
Really though, that list just isn't mine and is missing some of the things I think are most important to teach my boys, so here is MY list. (Although, in reality these are all things I want my daughters to know too!)
1. A real man knows, loves, and relies on God. Pray. Be a spiritual leader. Know that God loves you. God is there for you (always and no matter what). God is with you.
2. Peer pressure is a powerful force and easy to give in to. It takes true character and courage to always do the right thing and not follow the crowd. This might (probably will) make middle school even harder, but it will serve you well the rest of your life.
3. Know how to use the dishwasher, oven, washing machine, iron, vacuum, mop and broom. And actually use them. Know how to balance a check book and save money. Know how to fold your own clothes and resew your own buttons. Be self-sufficient.
4. They are called "private parts" for a reason. Don't scratch them, hold them, display them, or adjust them in public. When you get older, continue to show respect for your "private parts". This means keeping them private until marriage. Even if she doesn't respect herself and says she wants to, you need to show that respect because you can't take that decision back. Always treat a girl with respect and never talk about her to your friends unless you are going to compliment or praise her. Your private life with her is just that, private. (And if you choose to ignore your dad and I on abstinence before marriage, please please use a condom!)
5. Please, Thank You, Yes ma'am and No sir, You're Welcome, etc. are all polite and always to be used. Show respect and use manners at all times. Always be kind and gentle toward all living things. Good manners ensure this. So open doors. Hold out chairs. Give up your seat to the elderly, disabled, and pregnant. Use full words (or even better, complete sentences) when someone asks you a question. Write thank you notes. Old-fashioned manners will never go out of style.
6. Shower. Wear deodorant. Wear clean clothes. The "sniff test" is not a way of deciding if something is clean. Take pride in your appearance.
7. No means no. When I say it, the discussion is over. When dad says it, the discussion is over. When a girl says it to you, whatever you are doing is over. (But you should never put yourself in that type of situation. See #5.)
8. Be strong and tender at the same time. It is okay for a man to show emotion. It is even okay for a man to cry. You will be the rock of your family and the leader of your family, but you must do so with tenderness and care, not just strength.
9. Friends come and go, but Family is forever. Treasure your family. This includes your brother, your parents, your cousins, your grandparents, and your aunts and uncles. These are the people you can always rely on and who will love you unconditionally. You were fortunate to be born into a big, close-knit family full of love. This does come with some strings. You were born into a big, close-knit family full of events and obligations. Be prepared to give up some weekends and time with friends for your family. Someday you'll be glad you did!
10. Your mom and dad love you! No matter what, I will always love you and be your mom. No matter what, your dad will always love you and will always be your dad. So hug us (even in public!) and know that we are always cheering for you. Sometimes our enthusiasm might be embarrassing and public hugs from mom aren't popular (see #2), but love us back anyway! This means picking up the phone and calling when you get older. We are probably missing you!