Tag Archives: raising boys

Why I Have All Boys

I learned just why God gave me all boys on my first Cub Scout overnight.

A few weekends ago, Jaden and I drove up to Camp Rokilio for a two night stay with his Cub Scout pack. This wasn’t tent camping. We were staying in themed dorms. We were in the castle. I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. I missed last year’s overnight because I was recovering from my broken foot. We arrived at camp when it was already dark out and took turns unloading all of our cars.

It certainly wasn’t a 4 star hotel … or a Motel 8 for that matter, but it would do. There were only three moms so we got our own wing and posted a “Mom Only” sign on our bathroom. I can’t remember the last time I slept in a sleeping bag!

We made popcorn and hot cocoa for the boys, let them watch a movie and then put them to bed. They were sleeping by 11 ish .. late, but not too terribly bad.

Then the dads busted out the cribbage board. I convinced Nicole to let the boys teach us how to play. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I think part of the fun was skunking them a few times ūüôā

Saturday the boys played outside all day long. I led a few crafts inside when they came inside to warm up a bit. The camp fire was burning all day long. Later in the afternoon/evening we took a walk down to the bog. I hung out in the back of the line laughing at all the funny things the boys were saying.

I remember looking around thinking, “This is what life is about. These are the moments that make it all worth it.” I just loved watching Jaden run by with a stick in his hand. Watching as his face got dirtier and dirtier as the day wore on.

I was oddly aware that I was a single, divorced woman hanging out with a bunch of dudes. Most of whom I haven’t met their wives. It was odd, but the guys were really nice and made fun of me all the same. I admit, making fun of me isn’t that hard to do. haha!

We ended the night with a bonfire and s’mores. I was right next to the boys, teaching them how to make the perfectly golden brown marshmallow. It’s all about the coals and not the flame. I loved watching the 1st grade¬†Tigers trying to keep up with the older boys and the dads showing their boys fire safety.

I whopped the boys in cribbage again that night and someone started a tally on the wall for how many times I snorted when laughing. I have to admit, I think I enjoyed myself so much because of the good company. The boys were all so well behaved and the dads were very welcoming to me.

On my drive home, exhausted and dreading having to unpack the van, I couldn’t help but feel like this weekend was the reason why I had boys. God knew how much fun I would have with them. That my heart would melt watching them play in the dirt. He knew that I don’t mind getting dirty when having fun and that sleeping on a squeaky bunkbed wasn’t all that bad. He knew that I’d love learning pocketknife safety with them and that I think archery¬†is cool.

Most importantly, I remembered why all the hard mommyhood stuff is worth it. It’s about vacations and sleepovers. It’s about the fun random times and not all about the work and chores. I came home that weekend physically exhausted and spiritually rejuvenated.

I go real tent camping in two weeks … we’ll see if I feel the same way after a weekend without flushing toilets.

Love, Mel


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Filed under Jaden Story, Mommyhood Meditations, Posted by Melissa

Is Chivalry Dead?

I take my job as a mother to all boys very seriously. It was the moment I realized that I was raising the men who would be taking care of someone else’s daughter that I realized just how important my job was. My life will be meaningful if my boys grow up to be ‘good’ men. Got me thinking … what does it mean to be a ‘good man’ these days? What does the 21st century “good man” look like? Is chivalry dead? In a lot of ways I think it is … but is it too late to bring it back?

1. the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.

I love that … a religious, moral and social code.

Religious – I want my boys to believe is God and Jesus. I want them to want to attend church and to be the head of a christian home. Now let me say this … if they choose to leave the church, I will always love my boys. But I desire them to have the comfort, support and safety net of the Christian beliefs that I have grown into. I honestly do NOT know where I would be today if it weren’t for my faith in God, my fear of God and my hope in the promises God makes every morning.

Moral – You hear about all the horrible things that happen in this world. Rape, husbands beating up their wives, children hearing their parents call each other all kinds of horrible names, men who control all the money, women who cheat. I want my boys to know right from wrong in this corrupt world. I want it to matter to them that they live by a code. I want them to be rooted in a standard that holds them to a higher level than the role models television and media give them. I pray every day that God gives them the strength to withstand peer pressure – that God whispers to them each day which path they should take. I want them to know the important of being honest, loyal and to have integrity.

Social – is it too much for a man to hold open a door for a women? Now, don’t take me for a traditionalist … I have my feminist tendencies. I believe women and men were created equal. I do not think that women should bow down to men and that women should paid the same as men. But … BUT … there is a level of honor and respect when a man opens a door for a woman. I remember when I had plans to hang out with a friend … when he picked me up, he got out of his car, waited for me to lock up my house then, opened my car door for me. I felt special. I felt cherished. I felt protected. I want my boys to know how to make a woman feel that way. Because it’s their job to protect – not to control or boss around – but to protect the women in their lives. I don’t want them to be afraid to hold their girlfriend’s purse. In turn, I pray that they meet a girl that will honor and love them. That they will accept my boys’ protection as love and that they will cherish them in a way that only a girl can.

Jaden has struggled with the divorce … as can be expected. His anger gets the best of him. He struggles with understanding the change. I’ve lost sleep over worrying about Jaden losing a father figure in his life. But something amazing has been happening with that boy. Something deeply amazing. The other day, Jaden rushed to the door ahead of me. I was irritated because I had to reach and fumble to unlock the door. He opened it, stepped aside and said, “Ladies first, mama.” Then he rushed ahead of me again, and opened the porch door and said the same, “Ladies first, mama.” This continued with each door we walked through … the daycare door, the door to Logan and Weston’s class, then back out again. The little man even opened my car door. My heart was complete mush and I was beaming with pride.

I realized that how my boys treat other other people will forever be more important than any grade they bring home. It will matter more than the level that they read at – the multiplication tables they memorize. The way they treat women will matter more than any other grade they will ever receive. How they treat women will shape their family. It will direct whether or not their heart gets broken, it will affect the kind of woman they choose to be the mother of their children. Chivalry is so important … it’s something I still pray that God blesses me with … a man who holds doors open, a man who helps me with my coat, respects my role in this world as a woman, someone who raises me up on a pedestal … not because I demand it or even deserve it. But rather, he puts me there because he wants to – because he respects me and loves me. And in return, I will love and respect him.chivalry-quiz-0208-de

To my fellow mamas of boys – teach them to be chivalrous. Teach them how to treat a lady. Let’s raise chivalry from the grave …

Love, Mel


Filed under Posted by Melissa

Jaden’s Fancy Clothes

Last night Jaden wanted to (get this) sleep in his fancy clothes (ie dress shirt, pants and tie). ¬†Because of all of his allergies, we have some serious lotion to put on at night for all his dry skin. ¬†So we tried to put the fancy clothes on over his pjs so the lotion wouldn’t get all over. ¬†It just wasn’t doing the trip. ¬†So instead, Jaden wanted to wear his fancy clothes to school today.

Sure enough, he remembered and was just as excited as last night. ¬†We got all dressed up and then he put on his brand new Avenger shoes. ¬†I thought ‘wow he sort of looks punk’ haha

Just as we are getting ready to walk out the door he said “mom I need flowers!” ¬†I asked him who he needed flowers for (you never know with my kid). ¬†He said Mrs Richmond, his morning teacher. ¬†My heart melted as I pictured Jaden walking into school with his fancy clothes on and his tie, with a flower in his hand for his teacher. ¬†Priceless.

So here I am telling him to stand at the bottom of the driveway just in case the bus comes as I run out to the backyard with a wet paper towel, a piece of foil and a pair of scissors to cut one of my tulips for Jaden’s¬†teacher. ¬†While I wish he had planned a head a little more with this cute plan, I was pretty proud of how thoughtful he was this morning.

I hope that I raise Jaden to be the kind of man who brings his wife home flowers – just because.

Love, Mel


Filed under Jaden Story