Sunday, January 15, 2012

Real Men Wear Pink....and Hand-Me-Downs

A work in progress. Each morning these slippers and pajamas appear before me in the early morning, well before the sun rises. I see those slippers coming, then smile to myself. Ringing through my head, a mantra,
“Another day- another opportunity to help him learn to be a gentleman.”

His dad tells him to look people in the eye when he shakes hands. Although he usually just looks down to his shoes.
We wait, if we remember, for him to offer to open the door. Usually it’s way too heavy for him to push or pull open.
We encourage him to help others, girls or boys, when there is a tumble, or an accident, or a “bad decision”. Even when he‘s not the one responsible. He usually awkwardly tries to help, if he can. Often he has no idea how to even begin to help.
We encourage his words to be true and kind, even when it’s tough. Even when his sisters just stole the soccer ball from him. Even when his little brother got carried away and knocked him a nice one in the lip. Even when other kids at school chose foul words.
We try to impress upon him that he has control of his actions. Even when he’s running through the house at max speed and sporting the coolest new Batman costume ever.
We teach manners, but interruptions still occur. Occasional forgetfulness sometimes sets in so that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ sometimes become redundant lessons.

A long way to go. A lot of ground to cover. Lots of mistakes still to be made, all around. But it’s all a work in progress, like I said. For now, the fact that he shows up every morning in the kitchen, wearing a smile, crazy hair, striped pjs, and his sister’s hand-me-down pink slippers….I have to believe that we’re off to a good start. (Let's hope.)

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