Last weekend was baby weekend: A dessert shower for our Daughter-in-Law on Friday evening, a diaper shower for #1 Son with his colleagues and rec soccer team on Saturday evening, and the hospital tour on Sunday. When I texted him on Monday asking how the weekend went, his quick reply was, “Tour was awesome. I’m overwhelmed. Don’t know what I’m doing. LOL” Welcome, my child, to the world of parenting.
Anyone can have a child, but parenting a son is so much more than passing out blue bubble-gum cigars. Do they still do that sort of thing? He has no idea how holding your beating heart in your very hands will rock his world. He has no idea how his plans will change, how his dreams will be bigger, and how he’s been a perfect parent until he becomes one. We all started out with “I don’t know what I’m doing.” This I do know: he’s a good man, a generous husband, and devoted to his family. So these are a few of the things I hope #1 Son will do with his #1 Son:
- Teach him to cook.
- Teach him to respect all women because every women is someone’s sister or daughter.
- Teach him to respect authority. We are a country and community of laws.
- Teach him to be brave by initiating acts of kindness and generosity when given the chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
- Let him see you read your Bible for he will practice what you practice, not just do what you say.
- Let him learn American History so he will hear the stories of the bold sacrifices made to appreciate and acknowledge the symbols of American freedoms.
- Let him play with his cousins a lot. Cousins are our first friends and our friends for life.
- Teach him how to write and read in cursive so he can read the powerful words of history, documents of old, and sign his name. My grandfather was unable to read and write so he ‘made his mark’ when he endorsed his paycheck and completed the documents to purchase his home. He wanted badly to be able to sign his name, yet never learned. A man needs to be able to sign his name and not just print it.
- Teach him to use power tools and be creative with his hands. There is something about a man who can step back and see and hold in his hands the fruit of his labors and creativity of his mind.
- Let him play outside, play with bugs, get muddy, and sweat from play and hard work.
- Show him how to pray…and not just at church.
- Show him how to work as an apprentice. He’s watching you in all you do, all you say, and all you share.
- Model manly prayers, generosity and tithing, and to never stop learning.
- Introduce him to other amazing men and women of faith and strength.
- Tell him family stories.
- Teach him how to love his Mama by how you love yours. That kiss on the cheek at every greeting and the hug upon every departure means more than you will ever know…but, his lovely mama will.
Some of my greatest gifts from the LORD are the amazing adults who used to engage with playdoh, duct tape, and yell, “Watch me, Mama!” from the diving board at the neighborhood pool. Oh, I’m watching, alright. Watching them become fabulous parents is a big, sloppy kiss on my cheek from the One who made them.
“The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. May your father and mother rejoice; may she who gave you birth be joyful!” Proverbs 23:24-25