Traditionally “all boy” has referred to boys displaying masculine traits – toughness, athleticism, a willingness to get dirty, and the sneakiest of all assumptions: straight.
By defining our sons as such, it’s set up a sort of standard of what a “real boy” looks like. As if any shade of gentleness, affection, sensitivity, or liking “girly” things isn’t quite real. I mean how can a non real boy grow up to be a “real man”?
A real man earns the money and provides for his family, right? No big deal if they check out at home. Turn the other cheek if they’re sleeping around. Speak in hushed tones if they’re hitting on their women behind closed doors. Those just come with the territory for some men, right?
For too long we’ve raised sons to become men who are deemed “good” based on what they do. I’m more concerned about who they are. About character. About decency.
That’s a picture of my boy. Like so many other boys, he’s very loud. He loves dirt and cars and trains and playing with water. However, he’s not at all aggressive or rough. He loves nail polish. He sings on tune and dances on beat. Not all of those are “all boy”, but they’re certainly all Miller. They’re what he does.
Here’s who he is. He tells me he’s being brave when he walks into a dark room at night. He demonstrates kindness by apologizing if accidentally bumps into someone or thinks he’s hurt them. He’s pretty good with please and thank yous. He offers reassurances if he sees someone is sad.
I don’t know what he’ll do someday. I don’t know if he’ll be a starting quarterback like his dad or into show choir like me. Maybe he’ll do both, or maybe he’ll do neither and go his own course. I don’t know if or who he’ll marry. I don’t know what his line of work will be.
However, if who he is now is at all indicative of who he will become, he’s going to be a good guy. And I’ll take that over being a “real man” any time.For too long we’ve raised sons to become men who are deemed 'good' based on what they do. I’m more concerned about who they are. About character. About decency. Click To Tweet
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