boyhood: living in a hood of boys

I live with lots of boys. One husband and then four little precious creations the Lord has given to us. Three of them are boys. The ladies in this house are outnumbered 4:2 and it’s a tough time for ladies in this house most days.

This is a boyhood. A house of boys.

Just yesterday I gently repremainded, “why can’t you just play school or house?” The boys in this hood then began to play school, I even showed them how to line up their stuffed animals as students, but then their students got in a fight and everyone began to wrestle… again.

Oh the wrestling. My three year old pins me and I seriously cannot get up.

If you are pinned to the ground, outnumbered in your boyhood, know I am on the ground with you. Here are some things working for me with my boys surviving boyhood and maybe they will help you too.

It’s real hard living in the hood. We need to help each other out.

1. The White Line

For a long time getting out of the car and running into moving traffic was fun for my boys. I had chest pain and my boys had fun. My heartbreaking moment was the time when I only had a twenty-month-old and a newborn and I found myself in a parking lot at the grocery store. As I turned to take my baby out of the car my little toddler dashed out into traffic and directly into the grocery store. Thankfully he was not put in harms way.

So after all these years of seeing excited boys exit a car and wait in the parking lot I have taught them how to line up like soldiers on the white line that separates the parked spaces in a parking lot. This has saved me in the land of boyhood. All three boys know their feet better stick like glue to that white line while they are waiting for momma.

boyhood

2. A Simple Touch.

If you live in the same hood as I do you know listening can be a challenge. like your saying,  put your shoes on just so the crows feet will begin to disappear from your eyes (that would be so awesome, right?) But boys (and men) need something more physical to really hear you. I simply and gently touch their arm and look into their eyes. “Put your shoes on” gets done and done when a simple touch of the arm is in play. A simple touch will save a girl from hearing herself talk in the hood. For real.

3. The Game. 

Living in boyhood means everything is a race. For years we have been racing a bath time, bed time, seatbelt time. I never give prizes for the winner. Never. I always praise everyone efforts. But in this hood everything has to be a competition. Boys just live for competition in and of itself. If you want your boys to do something quickly make it a race. This is what works in our hood.

boyhood

4. The Hero. 

The Lord gave me great understanding of little boys once I learned the power of the word hero. All day I watch them, playing and fighting and rescuing. They are always rescuing someone from something. So recently in this hood I have begun to use the word, hero, more often.

I need a hero, seems to make all three come running. Paper towels are fetched more often and toys seem to get swooped up faster. Find your heroes and see the hero in your boys.

5.Their Daddy.

If you live in the hood of boyhood like I do you know how important the daddy is. Truly. He is the bread and butter to this whole thing. If daddy comes when dinner is called and tells mommy that this taco dinner is the best taco dinner he has ever had, you better believe three other boys will be saying that same thing around the dinner table for days.. for months…for their future wives…and to model for their future sons. In the hood, daddies are the key. They matter most. All the work I do all day, all the loving, snuggling, kissing boo boos and calling for heroes will never have as much impact as a few minutes with their daddy.

boyhood: living with boys

6. Jesus. 

Jesus matters a whole lot in boyhood too. A praying boy and a boy who respects his momma because he loves Jesus is the only way this hood is going to work. Truly. Truly. Truly. Pray with those boys. Pray with them about their hearts. Pray with them about their sins. Pray with them when they get too physical with one another.

Pray for them. Pray that they would be men who love God and serve people. Pray that God would give the boys in your hood hearts to know God truly and make Him known.

As moms in the hood we are raising up the next generation of men. It is exhausting and I don’t understand the amounts of pee around the seat or the need to turn every single game into a fight or wrestling match. But I do understand that what I am doing is important for our world.

Embrace your hood.

Overcome the challenges.

Make a better world.

“Every time you raise a loving, kind and responsible man, you have created a better world.”

-Michael Gurian 

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