So, I’ve been absent the past few days due, in part, to a sleepless baby but also because I have been struggling with perfection.
My hero in the mom-blog world is Amanda Blake Soule (http://www.soulemama.com/soulemama/). But I don’t feel confident I can come up with deep insights each evening AND have the time and energy to explore them succinctly and edit properly, etc. My scope is different from hers, but no one ever went anywhere by not doing something out of a fear of failure. How passive that is. How real that is too. That’s not who I want to be.
So, I’m recommitting to building my boys. Giving myself permission to relinquish absolute perfection in the face of a new venture seems only reasonable.
And on that note, we’ve had some wonderful moments recently. Papa came over to build a fire with the boys, use a hatchet to chop sticks, wait patiently while Little Boy insisted he too could use the hatchet until he realized the hatchet was real and therefore heavy…hehe. The we focused on fire-building while boys jumped like crickets around Papa, anxious to finally light the carefully prepared teepee of paper, tinder, and twigs. And then, a fire! Hiss, crack! Pop!
Papa is one adored man, and it’s completely because he makes the time to check in on the level of each boy and be absorbed and interested. The feelings of being valued and important just for existing is the biggest warm-fuzzy around. There is great freedom when a relationship is free of criticism, guilt, shame or disgust. How vulnerable we can be with that person! How sweet it is to have gifts given freely because you are loved for your existence rather than because there is any intention to remind you of it in the future?
And so, it goes that the boys will squeal and wait eagerly for Papa to come long before he arrives.
I think most anyone would wait with their nose pressed to the window for warm acceptance to role in the driveway. Only a Papa has been around for long enough to be mindful of time. Often I’ll find Papa in the garage or the shed patiently explaining the uses of different tools or how they work to the bright blue eyes seated comfortably in his arms.
Only a Papa remembers how quickly a boy grows up. Boys need someone who remembers. That person will take the time to go at their pace and show them at their level, and not be worried when the interest fades mid-stride and we’re off on another topic. They remember that the boy will get bigger and the time will come for longer attention spans.
I was caught by surprise thinking of what it means to a young boy to have a Papa in his life.
When a mother of one finds she is newly pregnant, one of the concerning thoughts she will spend time wondering about is whether she will be able to love the second child as fiercely as she loves the first, followed by the fear that she may not since how can one expand something which already fills your heart to breaking. People reassure that love doesn’t split, it grows, but the reassurance is weak. Not until that mother falls in love with her second child does she realize what it feels like and the worry is cast aside.
Today I thought about how having their Dad completes these two boys. He is their idol and mentor even while they are young, even while he is away. He is the man to whom all others are compared to. “Mom, is it as big….as DAD?!?”
When presented with the choice to play with Mom and the girls or “assist” the men in their attempt to trouble-shoot the black-water lines, a friend’s 14 month old son stood seriously in the circle of men around the leaky line. Barely reaching their knees, he too pondered the gravity of the situation with his little arms crossed. Along with the men. Next to his Dad.
A boy with a loving Father who will prize and protect him, who will show him how to wrestle and guide him through fears…he is wrapped in fullness and love completely.
A boy with a loving Papa who patiently tries to steady his screw-gun while a wee one plays “ride ’em cowboy” on his back, and makes time to be in the moment…he is wrapped in fullness and love.
That love does not split.
Each complete him, in his own unique way. Each mean the world to him and will shape who he becomes.
When they love him, the boy does not need to allocate the ribbon for being wrapped in love. He gets wrapped twice.
Each piece of the ribbon will be one that he leans on at different times during his life. Having more ribbon tied around you just gives you more support when you’re weak, more options when unsure, more models of love and masculinity.
How special to have the love of a Papa.