Last week, I took my boys to one of the coolest places around, a place called The Wilderness Center. The WC is a nature preserve with all kinds of cool things to see and do, including a fantastic kid’s program. That day, we were there for a kid’s music class.
The boys loved it, in their own boy way. Oliver ran around the room, shakin his grove thang and singing (yelling) along. Theo, in typical fashion, didn’t participate in the group activities where everyone does the same thing, but eventually became his curious, non-stop talking, asking awkward questions, self. He especially enjoyed the part where everyone got to try a new, unique musical instrument, and the end when the teacher brought out Barnaby the turtle. It was wonderful.
I’ve learned a lot about parenting boys since Oliver, our second born, has come along. There was a time when I was so frustrated by Theo’s boyness – his lack of desire to sit, his refusal to do what everyone else was doing, and his overt curiosity and fidgetiness. What I’ve come to understand, though, is that those qualities are a crucial part of who these kids are, both as boys and as little human beings. Trying to coerce, force, manipulate or control simply makes us all cranky (and also never works).
So last week, there were a few moments when I wished Oliver would just sit down already, or secretly was a little embarrassed that Theo wouldn’t do what everyone else was doing, but you know what? That’s on me, not them. They are just being who they are supposed to be – wild and wonderful little boys!
Sure, I turned bright red when Theo asked (yelled) where the box turtle’s weiner was. And sure, I couldn’t get over how dirty the boys got after class in the play area. But did we have fun?
We sure did.