No, I don’t have one. I have two precious daughters, to whom I affectionately refer as “The Princesses” online. To their ears, it’s “Ladies” – and not in a Jerry Lewis voice either, although I think I could manage that. My bride and I are blessed with these two and are finding our parenting groove just in time to be shaken up a bit in the teen years. I think God does that on purpose – but I know that it’s physiological (brain chemistry and hormones and all that jazz).
But one thing that amazes me so much is a friend of mine from my childhood (single again, not by choice) who is raising three children of her own, the youngest of whom is a son. One of the highlights of my week (she’s been slacking over the last few months due to her confections business being busy) is to read a simple post or two highlighting her excitement over some ‘boyish’ thing that he’s into. He’s ten (I think) and really coming into his masculinity well. While it is rare that a single mom can (or wants to) permit her son to do some of these things, the thing I like the most is that she’s not only permitting it – she’s full throttle encouraging it. Weapons (imaginary function but real substance (wood)), dirt, and a desire to emulate all things masculine. Pretty cool considering he’s got Mom and two older sisters with him all the time.
Not to discount Mom’s role at all. I had read a book a few years ago that God used to change my life. One of the tenets in there is that masculinity bestows masculinity. Mom doesn’t have the ability to do that. It’s not how she was designed – even in a functional marriage. I’m not ready to change my views on it just yet, but she’s been doing a fantastic job with the tools she has and some male family members who have come alongside her. Her biggest tool is grace. And she has received it wholeheartedly and shares it with all of her children. But with him, she truly invites him into his boyness.
I regularly tell her how proud I am of her, as I see her as a younger sister to myself. I’m not envious of her circumstances – very few would be. I don’t know if she needs to hear it, but my guess is that she doesn’t hear it enough.
But, yeah. She’s doing something right. And that boy will make some lucky girl an awesome husband someday and some children a fantastic father.