The Thing About Boys

Originally published Wednesday, 13 August 2014.

This summer I took my oldest boy on a trip. Just the two of us. And I learned a few things about boys.

Exhibit A: They don’t need their moms breathing down their neck. Notice I’m the only parent looking at my kid. Notice also that I’m the only mom on this camping trip. Or woman, for that matter. So there was that, but that’s not what this post is about. 

Exhibit B: They need adventure. They need to be around things that feel dangerous, like knives and fire and ropes and spears. They need to get dirty. They need to be a little scared and then survive it and realize that fear and risk and adventure is an essential ingredient for their soul’s growth. 


Exhibit C: Refinement is OK, too. They need to know that they can be still. They need to know it’s not girly to pour from a teapot or have manners or discuss the Rosetta Stone. These things are also essential soul ingredients.

And one more thing I learned about boys. Turns out needing your mom or a mom, no matter what your age, that’s OK too. And even when they shrug off the hug or even when you have to tell them that the proper response to their mom’s “I love you” is “I love you too”…. they still mean it.