Saturday, July 24, 2004

Late night reading

Joy fell asleep just now while I was reading Raising Cain. I just finished the chapter on fathers and sons and now I'm reading about mothers and sons. Joy fell asleep because she's been chasing down our very active one-year old.

She's done a great job dealing with Joshua. As the book points out, mothers and sons start out with the closest of relationships and that often doesn't ever change. What does change is the way boys and men learn to express their love for their mothers. Joshua isn't always eager to be held and often pulls away to explore the game cabinet or play with a toy. Joy has been on the lookout for ways she can help him play safely and strikes a good balance between hovering over him and ignoring him.

My own mom struck a similar balance. I remember how hard it was for her to help me fill out applications for the military academies and schools on the other side of the country when I was in high school. But she let me go and helped get Dave and Doug into the Air Force Academy. I know that every time I got on the plane headed for Los Angeles, she cried, but I never heard her complain.

Boys and men have to know that the women in their lives have confidence in our abilities. I've made enough mistakes in life to know that I need people to help me clean things up. Freedom to risk failure is a wonderful gift because it communicates trust.

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