The man my son will be

photo 5My husband passed away a week after the birth of our son and I feel for him for the loss of a father. Over the 8 years of my boy’s life I have asked myself many times why just when we had a son did my husband pass away? At the back of my head the answer has always been that my son is meant to be a different man than his father was. As the years go by that answer becomes much more appropriate.
There are distinctive boyish things about my son that I have to deal with. Things that were never a problem with my two older girls and I concede that gender is inborn. I look at him and he is so loving, open and honest that I cringe at the thought of him becoming like most of the men that I’ve met in my life. I now think that it would be better if he not be guided into the inner circles of manhood but rather to raise him as a person able to define who he is from the inside out. I want my son to be more than just a man, I want for him to be himself.
Men are so skilled at putting up a façade of confidence, intelligence, power and influence that getting to know the real person behind the bravado is often a shoulder-slumping anti-climax. Men act in ways that earns approval from other men, sometimes envy and even respect. In reality many men are so twisted inside by wanting to be ‘the man’ but really feeling like lost little boys with too much responsibility and not enough ability. I don’t want my son to be taught how to fit in with other men while living a life that has him crying himself to sleep at night. Ok, so not really crying himself to sleep, sorry my male friends; but at least staring up at the ceiling at night wondering what to do to make himself feel better.
Men are teaching other men that sex, money and power are the cure for any and every problem they might come across and not a single one, not that I’ve met, will admit that those 3 things are wholly inadequate to ensure the real peace and contentment every human being desires. While women sometimes share too much, men fear reproach far too much be real with the friends they keep.
I love men but my illusions about them are few, far between and hard to identify when stumbled across. I love men because I know how hard we women try to make our men happy and I assume men feel the same way. I love men because I have come to understand that who we are is often not of our own doing, but an inherited ailment. As one man said to me: “I came into this world to find men cheating on their wives, who am I to try and change the world or point a finger. This is the way things have always been.”
I can’t stop my son from being irresponsible, I cannot stop him from being dishonest, I cannot stop him from screwing around, I realise that. I cannot stop other men from whispering the secrets of manhood in his ear, I cannot stop him from believing that he has the right to be like every other man. I’m not crazy enough to think so. I cannot ask him to deny the urges and natural tendencies I assume every man is born with, nor can I expect of him to live up to my idea of the perfect man, and I’m not doing that. But I will never just meekly serve him up to a world that produces the kind of man one can kick out behind any bush.
I, as his mother, reserve the right to allow him to decide for himself what kind of man he will be. I reserve the right to protect all the good qualities my boy was born with for his own sake and the sake of all the people he will have to deal with one day. I don’t know what kind of man he will one day become, that is out of my hands, but I won’t shirk on the role I play in shaping that man for the better.

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3 comments

  1. Beautifully written. Thoughts: We as a peoplehood will over our lifetime meet and be influenced by many people, many books, many experiences. Your son Will grow from all of these aspects in life. He Will grow up and experience life and all the variations that are brought to him, that are purposeful in good spirit and those that could harm. As a man he lives in a world that happens and evolves. We are choices all of us, we are responisbilities, too. We are joys and sadness and lights to others. His being is formed from much. I would say his mother, you are an outstanding influence and with all the influences he will reflect, yours is strong within him. Always! Mankind is such that it tarries often and lags. May we all rise to our best, whether man or women! I very much enjoy reading your thoughts, they are direct, you are a writer that inspires both thought and expression. Thank you, who is not only a lover of Men, You are a lover of life! Good holidays to you and yours and many smiles!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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