I hate to say it...but my boys are growing up to be men. I know... you're thinking this must be another DUH! moment, but it's not. At the ages of almost-7 and 5, they might not exactly be on the brink of manhood but they are indeed already on their way! Every day brings them a step closer.
Steve Walden's post about fishing with his son and his dad really got me thinking. Grandpa, dad and son spoke together about manly things like carburetors, war and wetting a hook. While I could talk to my boys about these things, it's just not the same as if it were coming from their dad. After all, they want to grow up to be a MAN (like their dad) not a woman/wife/mommy!
I really came to the whole boy/man-wannabe realization a few weeks ago when we went out to lunch. We were eating at our fav Mexican restaurant and ordered waters for everyone. The waiter returned with large cups of water for me and David. Tank (5) and Dozer (1.5) got the usual styrofoam cups with lid and straw. Dash (7) would normally get the lidded cup and straw as well...but this time he got a big cup. As in "real" cup. No lid. No straw. Slice of lemon.
He looked at me questioningly, pointed to his cup and whispered Look, mommy. (Translation: Why did he give me the wrong cup?)
I answered, He thinks you're big enough now.
A smile began to creep across his lips and then he started to twinkle and smirk. To think that someone else thought he was big! I couldn't help but share his smile and I could see the pride on his face. It was a good kind of pride...the Finally! Someone else actually sees that I'm not a baby anymore! kind of pride. He was beaming. And all for that one little big glass of water. :-)
It's funny how they really do grow into their labels sometimes. You treat them like babies and they act like babies. You treat them with a little respect (well, the respect worthy of a future manly man!) and they actually act a little more mature.
I guess I need to find more ways to show him that he really is a little man right now. I need to expect him to be brave and courageous, expect him to work things out with his brother or friend, expect him to succeed in a difficult physical task... He's pretty good about living up to my expectations!