Yesterday would have been my mom’s 84th birthday. She died at 70, but she still affects my life even now.
If you have sons, you’ll be affecting them long after you are gone. It’s inevitable some of the effects will be bad; hopefully the majority will be positive. A few thoughts:
- Your son is male. He doesn’t think or feel as you do, which is as it should be. Be careful you don’t try to make him more female. If you don’t understand what it means to be male, you could easily be attacking his masculinity without meaning to do so.
- Risk and adventure run through his blood. Sure, you need to keep him safe, but not too safe. You need a sane man to help you understand proper limits.
- Apologise to him as often as necessary. Teaching him by example is the surest way to help him become the man he should become in this and every other area.
- You are the first woman in his life, and you will set a precedent. His future wife will either thank you or secretly curse you.
- He needs your respect. If he decides he can’t get it, you’ll both lose a great deal. Find ways to respect him even when you don’t understand or agree with him. His desire for your respect can be a powerful tool for modifying his behaviour as long you don’t push too far.
- He’s happy to be your son, but he doesn’t want to be your little boy. This is another respect issue, and a place where you can easily push him away without intending to do so. (Please, don’t call him your baby after the age of two!)
- He feels protective of you because it’s how God made him. Odds are he will feel this way long before he has any ability to protect you in a real way. Appreciate his desire to protect you even when it’s “cute”.
- At puberty, he becomes sexual. He has no idea what that means, but he feels it. He wants you to accept this part of him, not deny it. If you’ve built a good relationship up to puberty, he wants to know what you think about sex. You have the chance to be the first female voice influencing his sexuality – take it.
- He’s going to hurt your heart. Even if he’s a great guy and never intends to, he’s human and will do things that hurt you. If it should hurt, let him know. If he’s done nothing wrong and it hurts because of you, either keep it to yourself or let him know it hurts because of your stuff.
- You probably won’t like his early girlfriends. I think most of us unintentionally seek out girlfriends who our mothers won’t like. Not necessarily to tweak mom, more to learn about other kinds of women. A sure way to push him to the wrong girl is to tell him she’s the wrong girl.
- His wife will be more important to him than you. If she’s not, the marriage is in big trouble. Assume this will be the case and rejoice when you see it. Be all about the woman he loves enough to marry, and be ready to go much more than half way to meet her.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I had junk left when my mom went home. Sigh.