Wednesday, September 26, 2007

cousins and boy-talk

Sarah tells me how Fiona saw Marshall this morning and wanted to play with him. Marshall said "Fiona!" with excitement, but had to go with his class. How sweet was he? Stewart too. They love their little cousin so much. And what is not to love about her?
Neither Fiona nor Stewart would go to the nursery, so they played in the mama's meeting. (MOPS, that is. I just don't like how "cutsie" the name is. Being involved with this group is so very "organized" of me, isn't it?) They had a nice time, and later both went to the nursery for a bit. It was perfect timing because as soon as Stewart went to the nursery, Nigel needed me.
So this lady, Lori Borgman, spoke about raising boys. She talked about the feminization of education during the last 30 years or so and how it has isolated boys. Also, she talked about boy's high energy level and how it is seen as "aggression" and has been forced out of them in schools and by parents who don't understand. She expressed that along with society's current push towards all things feminine, the desire, and therefore ability, for boys to become men who will stand up for what they think is right and/or protect those who can't protect themselves has also been crushed or supressed. (Maybe inadvertently?) I presume she was saying that by crushing boy's natural or instinctual ways (of learning, feeling and communicating), we put down his natural forcefulness and strength.
There is a movement, for sure, towards the later. Mike and I see it and dislike it because we know it doesn't fit our boys.
We also notice that little is done to understand boy's emotions. Mike and I want to teach our boys how to communicate their emotions (Here, we mean not just talking about it, but also expressing through physical activities [that are not damaging to themselves or others]). By demonstrating emotional communication, we hope that they'll know that their emotional stuff is important (to their own person, and to others).
We've talked many times about how generations before theirs have not done this well. There have even been instances where our boys have been reprimanded to "toughen-up" (as young as a year of age). Things have been said indicating that something is wrong with them if they are stressed by separation (or other). Even Mike and I admit we have not always been sensitive (like we may have to a daughter?). While we don't appreciate the whine-thing, we loathe the "shut-up and shut-down" thing that says, "Don't tell us what you feel. AND don't feel."
We want Marshall, Stewart and Nigel to learn not to be passive about the things they really care about (that there is a healthy and natural forcefulness in them) AND to be connected to their emotions.
So, it's good they have a little cousin and each other to learn to care for and protect.
Wow, what a thesis this has become... thanks for enduring through it.

1 comment:

Katie said...

i cherish your thoughtfulness and purpose. even with daughters, i fight girly things a lot, to try to make them not fit into the typical little pink princess girl. but wow. alaina is totally that. pink, princess, ballerine wannabe. and then there's the days she grabs her sunglasses and pink Barbie guitar and "jams like a rockstar" (her words). and she loves being outside in the dirt. she'll wear her skirt and nice shirt to play in the mud because "mom, it's okay - i'll put rain boots on."

we do need to instill in them who they are rather than who we do or don't want them to be or become.

good insight elizabeth. :)