With it being Father’s Day, this blog is dedicated to my husband and my sons…
Because we limit the amount of TV in this here household, I love the “mental space for creative spontaneity” it provides. Just yesterday, my 5 yr old son pulled out the mim-stroller (kid sized) and filled it full with his two dolls, brothers Michael and Joey. Yes, my son has dolls. 🙂 In fact, I think all boys should have dolls. I credit my husband with this beautiful expression I see in my son. Before you judge and think I married a mansy-pansy of a husband, let me give you some background.
My husband is about the most manly man I know. He loves to play golf, cut his own grass on his zero-turn mower (well, ok, he doesn’t LOVE mowing our grass but under the current economic demands of our finances – he bucks up and just does it), he fixes things himself, hunts and harvests a portion of our own food with his awesome compound bow, defends our property from raccoons with his 22 and works out religiously so he’s ready for anything – like the tough-mudder this October.
Likewise, my son loves the outdoors, hunting with his Dad, and searching for bugs and reptiles of any kind!
So back to the dolls…as my son buckled his “boys” in the stroller and began pushing them around the house, there was a dear sense of pride as he took on this fatherly roll. He then asked if I could take his picture and send it to Dad at the office which I immediately did.
As the morning wore on, he began to ask me for bibs, baby bottles, and blankets. He’s seen me tend to his baby brother (4 yrs younger) and all of a sudden I saw him emulating this same “motherly, fatherly” behavior. Observing from afar, I purposefully nurtured this activity. I asked him if he’d like to read them a book before their nap time.
“Sure,” came his confident response in a lower, more manly voice. “Mom,” he said, “Get my book, about ‘The Run Away Horse’.” This is his home-made book that was his very own creation. (Another blog post…) He immediately read it with Michael and Joey in his lap. Then he proceeded to tuck them in. As this this scene unfolded before me, I realized he was doing everything he had seen me do with his littlest brother (the most recent baby in the family). He even went as far as writing down on a piece of paper the feeding schedule for Michael and Joey and kept his eye on the clock so he knew when to wake them to feed them. His expression of father love was so inspiring to me.
This activity went on for about 2 hours. He just nurtured them, loved them, fed them, read to them, kissed them, tucked them in – and asking the rest of the family to “be quiet” so his boys could sleep. This was an opportunity to cherish my son’s expression of fatherhood. I’ve not seen a little boy do this before so intently – so, I was a little taken a back that he was so into this…shame on me. Just as we encourage and nurture little girls with everything they need to be little Mommies – why don’t we do more cherishing of fatherhood – REAL Fatherhood in our little boys?!
My plea in this blog today is that we look for opportunities to nourish the fatherhood in our little boys as much as we naturally cherish it in our little girls. We NEED strong, loving, gentle Dads who know how to protect and love their families – not just in brute strength but with that natural balance of love with the backbone of principle. Today while we celebrated Fatherhood for our Dad, we also celebrated it for my son as he’s been a father to “Michael and Joey.” I wish you could have seen the smile and pride my son expressed as we called him a “father” too. I feel privileged to have a husband who shares his wonderful expression of fatherhood with me and our children daily and even more grateful to have a son (hopefully two) who know that a real father can express his strength and his gentle love…all at the same time!