He tried on the bright green hideous looking camouflage boots, and walked around the Bass Pro in a circle. I cringed, not wanting my son to arrive Christmas night in Suffolk, Virginia wearing shrubs on his feet.
“Christian, what about these? These are classy looking.” I held up some hip Under Armor hiking boots.
He looked me in the eye. “Momma, you have to let me be the man I am made to be.” He pointed his toe in my direction. “This is who I am.”
That night, Christian looked over at my smiling face in the car. “Momma, just because the camouflage didn’t fit, doesn’t mean I won’t get them next year.”
“Oh yeah, of course,” I said, attempting to appear I believed it.
Two nights later, amongst the torn gift wrap littering my parent’s living room, I spun around, and there standing before me was GI Joe, a present from my parents.
“Wait Christian!” Tricia said.
‘Oh no she didd-nnn’t!’
She did. My sister contributed to my son’s dream of hunting obsession, plopping a camouflage baseball cap on his head. She glanced over at me and laughed. My brother and sister patted him on the back and told him how cool he looked. Then it happened, his face lit up, his shoulders went back, and he gave them the cool man nod. Ashamed, I surrendered to the soldier. He did look cute peeking out of all those bushes.
Upon my surrender, one of my New Year’s resolutions came to light, it is to allow my boys to be the man they were made to be. With homeschooling, I have been pounding square pegs in a round holes.
I’ve come to realize, teaching these boys only in books, just doesn’t work. They are like me. Their attention can be snapped away by the dust floating in the air.
“Mom, did you notice how the dust reflects a particular shade of blue?” (Typical comment)
After Christmas, I pulled Nicklaus out of our two day school. Instead, day in and day out, we are mashed together, like peas in a bowl of split pea soup.
Today, he finished his Science Fair project, which he will submit to the school for judging. He filmed himself on his I- Pad explaining his experiment. When he showed it to me, I was mortified of his interpretation of Nick the Science geek, which included ample nose picking. I may be wrong, but this may set a precedence for future Science Fairs to become comedy shows on I Pads.
I started to forbid it. Then, I remembered my resolution to let him be the man he was made to be. If that means he’s a booger picker, then so be it. I told him my opinion and left it at that. He felt it was appropriate since it was about bacteria, besides the Science Fair needed a little shock value. He is a man made to learn the hard way.
My youngest, Colin is what my family and I like to call…jungle boy. As soon as he is loaded in the car at car line up. In one second flat, I hit the gas to speed away. When one mother sees me behind the wheel, she snatches her children and dives for the shrubs. She literally thinks I’m aiming for her. That’s so silly! I like her.
Before exiting the parking lot, I glance into the rearview mirror to see if I made it in time, and there Colin sits just as the good Lord brought him into this world. “Colin, please wait until I leave the church parking lot to strip. It’s embarrassing!”
“I’m hot, because I’m part monkey,” he says.
I am starting to believe God made him with a monkey gene. Every time I turn my back, shirtless and shoeless, he is hanging from the columns or trees. Once he went with his Uncle Thomas to the zoo.
“Colin if you take your clothes off one more time!” Thomas said. “Stop hanging out the window!”
“Oh look!” The bare chested heathen pointed to the monkeys. “There’s my family. I told you I’m part monkey. That explains a lot!”
So, I am allowing him to be the monkey God made him to be…most of the time.
Last night, the boys wanted to go with me to walk the dog. Nick and Colin skated up ahead on their roller blades, while Christian sauntered up beside me and took my hand. We walked the entire way holding hands, and although tempted, I didn’t glance to see if he was wearing his… now stuck to him… camouflage.
Twenty minutes later, Colin wrapped his arms around my waist, like the monkey he is, and I pulled him down the sidewalk. Nick, just shook his head and laughed paving the way ahead. I am positive those driving by, thought, “My goodness, look at that poor Momma and how clingy those boys are, you know it’s because she home schools them. tsk…tsk…”
Hmm….I’d like to think it’s because I am letting them be the men they were made to be.