I had just finished a weekend down at the Twin Cities and had lunch at W. A. Frost's with some old friends -- each of them with one son. And, between laughing our hearts out and talking about our careers, politics, art, food, we started talking about raising our sons. The next day I met with another old friend – she has three sons. When I got back home to the northwoods, I got a call from another friend – and she has three sons. Even though each mother’s experience is unique, some are the birth parents some are adoptive parents, one is a single parent, and the others are not -- I realized how strong our bonds are together. I LOVE our common ground: we are all mothers of boys who will grow to be men.
As a kid, I always wanted babies. Watching Bonanza, (a television western series in the US) I fell in love with the idea of having boys. For some reason, I was stuck on having five. Five boys who would be raised to respect men and women and their elders, and to be well rounded, robust and educated gentleman. Now that I have two boys (the more realistic and perfect number for our family) I have been totally captivated with them and have had to do some major re-thinking about boys.....They are not all like Bonanza’s Cartwright family.
To me, doing things right, means understanding the spiritual dimension of things. Parenting boys is no exception! So many ideas in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures have helped me focus on spiritually parenting.
Mary Baker Eddy writes in Science and Health some strong points about the role of parents, mothers in particular:
A mother's affection cannot be weaned from her child, because the mother-love includes purity and constancy, both of which are immortal. Therefore maternal affection lives on under whatever difficulties. (p. 60)
Under the heading of “A mother's responsibility:”
A mother is the strongest educator, either for or against crime. Her thoughts form the embryo of another mortal mind, and unconsciously mould it, either after a model odious to herself or through divine influence, "according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount." Hence the importance of Christian Science, from which we learn of the one Mind and of the availability of good as the remedy for every woe. (p. 236)
MB Eddy even understood God as Father Mother. In her definition of Mother, she writes
MOTHER. God; divine and eternal Principle; Life, Truth, and Love. (p. 592)
My visits with old friends reminded of how important it was to have the support of other mothers. Raising children is intense. But boy energy is a chapter in itself. As one friend said, “You have to laugh often! It’s either that or go nuts!”
Hillary Clinton wrote a book named after the African proverb: It Takes a Village (click here for a talk by HB on the book). Whether or not you like Hillary’s politics, the sentiment is sure. Having a village to lean on, help, support, laugh and cry with has been a major blessing to me in raising my sons.
Remembering those conversations, I jotted down all the things I talked about with my friends:
Teen years – launching into manhood; supporting independence; making it easy to talk ; the internet; sex drugs and rock and roll; keeping the connection
Pre-teens, finding one’s own way childhood and manhood; a spiritual foundation for changes – coming home to a spiritual basis; aggression and sports; developing ideas of who and what men and women are
Elementary school – first launch out of the home and into the public playground; dealing with bullies; daredevil playing; keeping bandaids and prayer close at hand
General – the dad’s part: supporting the dad/being the dad; how do you pray with your son; fun things to do one on one with your son; taking care of yourself so you can take care of your kids
To all the mothers of men ( and grandmothers of men and those who hope to be mothers of men) who read this, let me know if you would like to dig into the topic of raising boys to men with a spiritual perspective. There could be a never ending conversation brewing here.
See new blog at www.momm2.blogspot.com - mothers of men meeting!
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