When a wounded child climbs into its mother’s lap, it draws so much strength from the mother’s presence that its own wound becomes insignificant. So too with us when we climb into the lap of our great Mother God. Our crisis soon domesticates and comes into a peaceful perspective, not because it goes away, but because the presence of God so overshadows us.
When I read this in Forgotten Among the Lilies, I thought of Eliot, next to Bryce, slipping at the table one Sunday, nearly falling to the floor but stopping as his ear clipped the chair. Hard enough to sting. Hard enough to crack the little eruption that is a child’s pain magnified by surprise and other people’s company.
I had one of his arms to lift him. Maggie came over to pick him up because he was crying by then. He complained about the pain and Maggie took him in her arms, his head to her shoulder, and convinced him by her hug that he would live through it.
He calmed as long as she held him. Then he cried again, trading his mom for his dad. David, master of redirection with the boys that he is, turned Eliot’s attention with a high-pitched question.
The image of a child in pain. The image of a mother, then a father, and a few onlookers. It seemed like these words were easily seen, like wounds were becoming something else.
…Yet when they are immunized against this deeper emotional honesty, the results have far-reaching, often devastating consequences.
Despite the emergence of the metrosexual and an increase in stay-at-home dads, tough-guy stereotypes die hard. As men continue to fall behind women in college, while outpacing them four to one in the suicide rate, some colleges are waking up to the fact that men may need to be taught to think beyond their own stereotypes.
…By the time many young men do reach college, a deep-seated gender stereotype has taken root that feeds into the stories they have heard about themselves as learners. Better to earn your Man Card than to succeed like a girl, all in the name of constantly having to prove an identity to yourself and others.
Read the full article here at NYT.
As your mother told you–and as I’ve said to you before–when we put you into the hands of someone else, that’s the person we trust. So that’s the person you listen to.
Be it your teachers or other relatives, if you don’t listen to the people we give you to, you’re also not listening to us. And for now, you have to listen to us. You don’t get to not listen. And not just because we’re bigger than you. We actually know more than you.
We know that when you do your own thing, that thing is still so underdeveloped that it makes no sense in the world. One day that will change. One day you have more choices than you do time. One day you’ll pick the menu and the shoes and the time we leave and return. But you don’t drive. You don’t know the city’s grid. You don’t understand the nuances of roasting a chicken, even if you’re a good sous chef.
So, hear me, hear your mother. And we’ll let you stay with us. If you don’t listen, you’re only a quick walk from the Swansons, a short drive from either of our mothers, the full house with your cousins and my brother, a spot next to Champ’s cage at your other uncle’s, or slightly longer commutes to your aunts. I’m sure even Grammie will take you if we call her and say you’re on a flight. But I’m also certain those lovely people will have similar expectations. And they–though they may fight me on the point–will not love you nearly as much as me and your mother.
Life for my child is simple, and is good.
He knows his wish. Yes, but that is not all.
Because I know mine too.
And we both want joy of undeep and unabiding things,
Like kicking over a chair or throwing blocks out of a window
Or tipping over an ice box pan
Or snatching down curtains or fingering an electric outlet
Or a journey or a friend or an illegal kiss.
No. There is more to it than that.
It is that he has never been afraid.
Rather, he reaches out and lo the chair falls with a beautiful crash,
And the blocks fall, down on the people’s heads,
And the water comes slooshing sloppily out across the floor.
And so forth.
Not that success, for him, is sure, infallible.
But never has he been afraid to reach.
His lesions are legion.
But reaching is his rule.
This article is from cnn.com and it’s by LZ Granderson.
My son had barely taken his first breath when the people in the hospital started telling me how lucky I was.
Not because he was healthy, mind you, but because he was a he.
“It’s easier to raise boys,” I was told.
And for a while I actually believed them.
Then I started paying attention.
Did you know boys are more likely to drop out of high school than girls? Or that there are more female college students than male? And did you know the imprisonment rate for men is roughly 15 times higher than the rate for women?
If this is what boys being easier to raise than girls looks like, coul`d you imagine how many men would be in jail if raising girls got any harder? We worry so much about girls getting hurt — and justifiably so — but interestingly enough, the stats show it’s our boys who are more likely to get robbed, attacked or even murdered. We see girls as fragile orchids and boys as plastic plants. But let’s face it: At the core of this line of thinking isn’t safety — it’s sex.
When someone offers this piece of advice, it’s with the thinking that girls have to be protected from boys who will say and do just about anything to get in their pants. What’s typically missing from this discussion is the challenge to parents — particularly fathers — not to raise a liar and a cheat.
True, parents of boys do not have to worry about them coming home pregnant, but does that mean an unplanned pregnancy can be considered “the girl’s problem”? After all, a boy’s girlfriend did not get pregnant asexually. That’s why I’m Tebowing day and night, hoping my 15-year-old has the will to stay away from sex — even though the world all around him tells him there’s something wrong with him if he does.
Easier? Ha. Try different.
Click here to read the rest.