Monday, April 11, 2016

Raising Gentlemen and Wild Things

I know exactly where the Wild Things are.

They are tucked into their beds right now pretending to be asleep just long enough for me to not be listening at their door.

Then the Wild Rumpus will begin.
"Begin" is the wrong word. I should say that the Wild Rumpus will pick up where it left off. Because let's face it, my life is one continual Wild Rumpus with this group of hooligans.

In the midst of our Rumpus-ing, we do try to learn how to be Gentlemen. We teach them to look people in the eye, to say "please" and "thank you," to hold doors open, and to attempt to have some semblance of table manners.

Occasionally it even sticks.

Just the other day, for instance, we were walking back to our apartment from the pool. I was laden with noodles and snorkels, dripping towels and kickboards. One of my little men ran up to me and insisted that he carry both of my bags for me. I thanked him profusely and asked if he was sure that he wanted to get all of it. I could probably manage one myself.

"No, Mama," he replied. "I'd rather my arms and shoulders hurt than yours. I love you so much, and I want to help you. I can do hard things to make your life easier because I love you."

This led to a brief conversation about why we hold doors for women or pull out chairs or let ladies go first. It's not because girls are incapable of doing any of these things. It's not because they are weaker or inferior in any way. We do these things because we see the value in others and we want to show them how precious they are to us.

"Yeah," says one of the other boys, "but I don't want to do any of that. Because won't that just make my woman be lazy?"


At least one of them gets it.

Baby steps to the elevator. Baby steps to the elevator...

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