By now, you’re probably wondering if Bluecottonmemory is just about relationships. After all, that’s what my major posts have been about for a couple of weeks. Bluecottonmemory is about raising sons. The subject Relationships is just an incredibly poignant part of my life right now. You see, my oldest son is getting married next Saturday. I’m leading up to that, so that is where my heart and mind are. I’m so blessed to be able to write about life leading to that moment. Next week, posts are entitled, “What do you think about her?” and “Prayer to my daughter-in-law.” For now, I’m going to lighten up the relationship discussion. I hope you will laugh with me.
The benefits of having 3+ sons is that you get to use everything you learned from sons one and two over and over again.
My oldest son at age 10 said, “I’ve never had a truly happy day in my life.” He then declined into bleakness, broodiness , and moodiness. My first response? “I’ve got pictures and video to prove you’ve had happy days!”
My second response dealt with my confidence as a mother. What had I done wrong? What happened to the young man who made the sun shine when he walked into a room? The young man filled with quiet confidence? The one who thought I hung the moon? This blunt, direct boy who could see into the heart of a situation could find no happiness in the life I’d given him. How had I let him down?
He eventually put his brooding days behind him. The sun shined again. However, when he emerged, he was more of a man. I no longer hung the moon. He realized I was only human. How utterly deflating!
My second son, more passionate in his responses to life, communicated emotionally. Believe me, when one broods, one does so quietly. There was nothing quiet about this 10 year old. Big emotions call for big words. He was. . . atrabilious—irritable, bad-tempered, splenetic, more commonly called peevish. I remember thinking, “Whoa! What have I done? Where did this come from?” What happened to my hard-working guy who had compassion for the underdog? Keep in mind, the underdog never lives in your house –a brother is never the underdog, at least not at this age. However, he was so passionate in his displeasure in life, I didn’t see any similarities between brothers or ages.
Have I said yet that I learn best through experience and repetition?
My confidence as a mother took quite a beating. There were days the sun shined and smiles lit my world, but they were as rare as an opossum found alive on a road. He’s maneuvering out of that stage. He’s still passionate in his response to life, but more tempered. He’s starting to understand his compassionate nature more, not letting peers take advantage of him. He actually smiled pictures this year!
When my third son, my joyful son, mischievous, giving, hugging son stopped smiling, stoppered the joy, then it hit me, “It’s a stage!” It wasn’t me—it’s a stage. I think my soul leaped and danced with joy. The backpack of guilt was thrown down! He’s still journeying through the dark tunnel of this stage. His joy is bubbling back up more often, more mature, more manly. I no longer hang the moon. He’s realized I’m only human. However, I can see the end to his tunnel journey.
My fourth son is entering the tunnel. He entered adoring me, thinking I hung the moon. I can see him pulling away, though.
However, I understand it is a stage. It is a huge stage in terms boy to man. The mother-son relationship metamorphasizes during this journey. Snugglebuggles fade to the occasional hug. I practically have to tackle my sons for hugs. I heard on a news report once that just a touch can release happy phenomes in a person, which is why hugs are so wonderful.
“Stop touching me, Mom,” I’ve heard sons 2 and 3 say. One’s usually sitting in the front seat on the way to school. I’ll usually pat their arms, or, OK, I’ll be honest, try to tickle their necks or inside the bend of their arm at stoplights. I just say, “You need happy phenomes to have a happy day—happy phenomes from mom.” That’s a little nutty. However, being the only girl in a house of guys, I’m allowed a little nuttiness.
I’m ready for that tunnel when the baby starts to go enter. I’ve got a little over a year, so I’m going to every minute of the boy, of someone believing I hung the moon.
Now that I understand the behavior pattern, I have got a plan. With a plan, I can face any challenge. Especially when that challenge is backed up by God. This gave me hope in the confusion. Whenever I was in doubt about my son’s behavior, I would pray Psalm 139:12-16:
“For you created my[sons] inmost being; you knit me[him] together in my [mother’s ]womb. I praise you because I[he] am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My[His] frame was not hidden from you when I[he] was made in the secret place. When I[he] was woven together in the depts. of the earth, your eyes saw my[his] unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book.”!!
God knows what he put in them and why their behavior manifests the way it does. He designed and engineered them to work the way they do. When we ask, he gives us the appropriate manual for how they work. Thanks goodness He always knows what is going on!