On the IPod, “We’re Going To Be Friends” by: The White Stripes
When I was 5, I attended Cardinal Preschool and I was in “love” with a boy named Tommy L. I have about 5 vivid memories of preschool. I remember accidentally slamming my hand in the metal doors of the building, refusing to eat chocolate covered ants (chocolate covered Rice Krispies), missing the last day because I had the chicken pox, the kissing game (a game at recess where one would trap a boy or girl against the chain link fence and lay one on him/her. I’m pretty sure this game would not be allowed in 2018... but hey it was the ‘80s), and that time Tommy L. asked me on a date to Wendy’s (with his mom). See Tommy L. had a special mom. The kind of mom who was teaching her son how to make a girl feel special. I have to say the date was pretty magical... I mean I had never even been to a Wendy’s before and he brought me a rose and even had a chauffeured car (his mom again). I’m pretty sure we weren’t in an exclusive relationship (I found out later that Missy Paquin had also been to the Wendy’s) and our love affair was short lived, but it was a highlight of my 5th year for sure! After preschool, Tommy L. and I went our separate ways. We attended different elementary schools but I heard his name every now and then from mutual friends, he gave up the L. and decided to go by his whole last name at some point. The memory of such a special day stuck with me for a long time. And more than anything Tommy L. unknowingly set the bar pretty high.
When I had Levi, I immediately felt this intense desire and purpose to teach him how to be a thoughtful, kind, and romantic man. I wanted to be like Tommy’s mom. It’s sort of funny because we live in a world where most people are sort of obsessed with training their boys how to play sports and sleep in a tent outside and in general be the fastest and the best. But here I am teaching him table manners and dating etiquette. How I see it is the world has enough sports stars and to be honest these little boys don’t need me pushing them to be the fastest and the strongest... it seems like life pushes them enough. But the world is in desperate need of men who know how to set tables and cook dinners and buy flowers and say nice wonderful things to the people around them. So what my boys need to know is how powerful and strong it can be to make someone else feel special and that the shiniest trophy in the world holds nothing to the feeling you get from being kind.
Two weeks ago, Levi and 6 of his best buddies performed a hip hop dance at his elementary school’s talent show. Last year we had given the girls from his kinder class roses after they performed and Levi had insisted that we pass them out again this year. So here we came with 17 individually wrapped roses for 17 little first grade girls. As I followed him while he handed out each rose a parent of one of the girls said, “Oh this is so unnecessary, you didn’t have to buy flowers for all these girls!” I silently gave her a head nod and a smile and just simply said that Levi wanted to! What that mom doesn’t know is that the gesture was anything but unnecessary! You see... those 7 little boys danced their hearts out that night.... they had practiced for months and they were nothing short of amazing but as we loaded up in the car after the show my little 7 year old boy said, “Mom, hearing the clapping and the cheers after we danced tonight was fun but the best part of tonight was seeing the girls smiles when I gave them their rose. I can’t wait to do it again next year!” I mean if that isn’t a parenting mic drop moment I’m not sure what is!
I’m sure that Tommy wasn’t always a perfect gentleman and I’m sure he made some mistakes but something tells me that his Mom kept helping him become a better man along the way.
He is now married to what has to be a pretty amazing woman and has a daughter and a son of his own, who I’m sure is taking some lucky lady to Wendy’s! When I messaged to him to say that I was writing this his response was, “It’s so great to hear from you. My mom IS pretty amazing... she taught me well!”
So boy moms listen up! It doesn’t matter if you have 1 of them or 8! The next time someone says, “wow, all boys... I don’t know how you do it?!?” Or looks at you with a sad puppy dog face as if they are sad for you that you have a male child...I want you to dig deep and be the best mom you can be. Because you know what... you are pretty damn lucky that you get to be an amazing mom helping little boys become great men! Not everyone has that opportunity!