Monday, May 5, 2008

Life Pins: Boys to Men & Work, Oh Boy!

Boy, has my boy shown all the traits of masculine identity in the last year, ever increasing this spring.

James Dobson in Bringing Up Boys says this, "At about three to five years of age, however, a lad gradually pulls away from his mom and sisters in an effort to formulate a masculine identity." (2001, pg.58).

Of course he and his daddy spent lots of time wrestling too. "Pile drivers", "body slams", and "Patrick sandwiches" are all catch words to this "boys" game. Patrick says in his best WWF voice, "Momma! Wrestling is just for boys, not garils." I couldn't agree more.

When we had a cleanup day recently at his school he really really wanted to go to the dump with the guys. When they left, he opted to show Mommy his classroom, and play a little baseball with mom and an older boy. He kept asking when they would return, and was so happy to see his daddy return in the truck, and we learned there was no room anyway for his car seat. Ah, yes, I love watching it happen, this gender identity.

So, tonight we spent hours enjoying the warm weather (not to mention black flies) while Patrick dug dirt, put it in a pail, dumped it on the lawn, spread it out, and repeated it 50 times at least in an effort to built a road. He dug, dug, and dug, dumped, spread, dug, dug, dug, dump, spread.... It was wonderful seeing him so content playing outside, "working" he said.

Not long into the process our landlord and son show up to do some raking. Patrick's guy antenae go up, and he suddenly wants to interact with the guys, prodding Mommy to make conversation, and throw him the ball so "that boy can watch him hit." He loves to play and show off and do guy stuff with the guys. Well, he was very focused on having them watch, but I told them they were working and if we played in the middle of the yard they could see. He had fun hitting in their view. Later when I was starting to wash up the toys, I found his rake and sent him to help them. He got right into it, at least helping pick up leaves into the wheelbarrow. I kept asking if he wanted to go in and he was adamant that he "wasn't done working yet." He stayed out with them until I insisted we go in, and they were leaving anyway. It was so fun to watch him work this evening.


Goodwyf Allie said...

Ah Yes--wrestling is really for boys! (although girls children do enjoy it to a certain extent--it's different--and really not a Mom thing.) Does your boy go to a montossori school? I love hearing children talking about their work. So respectful and validating. This is how we grow-up to love work. Because we really do enjoy it. To think that moving buckets of dirt might be called tedious and senseless by some!

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