another woman’s husband

*This was originally written December 2010.  I’m sharing again as I’m reminded of the responsibility of being a parent.

Adventures in Christmas shoppingAs we were getting in the check out line at Old Navy, a ghostly arm snaked out over the line divider to snatch up the little boy in front of us and an ethereal voice screeched at him to, ‘get your CENSORED out of here.  Don’t think I don’t know what you’re doin.  Do you think I’m some kind of a CENSORED  idiot‘. I’ll omit the rest of the rant but suffice it to say he was cussed and shamed in front of God and ‘erybody.The voice and arm belonged to his mother.  Dear Mum was buying his Christmas gifts.  She wanted theclothes to be a surprise. ‘Cause, ya know, what 11 year old boy doesn’t want a sweater for Christmas? Lots of  jeans and t-shirts!  Yessss!! I hear him now: “Ethan and Logan got lame ole  iPads…wait’ll I tell ’em about this sweet new coat!”I looked at hubbie and said, “ummm, did that just happen?” He replied, “We were right here“. (Side bar: this may lead you to think we only cuss the offspring in the privacy of our own home, but, alas we refrain from that particular tactic entirely.)

Just as the chirping crickets began to quiet down, Mom and Dad of the year finished checking out.  (seriously both of them checking out, ONE of them couldn’t tend the kids while the other was making the purchase!?) Dad stood at the front of the store yelling “Boys. Let’s Go“.  I could make this up, but I’m not.  Like calling the dogs from the back yard, he yelled at them.  To their credit, the kids came tearing through the store, obediently answering the call.

Before anyone else can say it, I’ll admit I don’t know everything about their situation.  But can anyone honestly come up with a hypothetical that makes any of this okay?  Merry Christmas!

Anyway, all this got me to thinking, when we raise sons…we are raising another woman’s husband.   Someday, Lord willing, these boys, who are now only our sons, will grow older and get married. (time out for delusion~we’ll stay young and beautiful~amazing!) We, both mothers and fathers, need to equip them properly. Don’t you want to say “you’re welcome” to your DIL?!

Beating him down verbally will affect him. It will prepare him to become William Holbrook (The Help), or any number of other real-life men who have become emasculated under their overbearing wife’s constant badgering.  Of course, the opposite is true too.  Lying to them about their faultlessness will create a monster ego and a man unwilling to admit he is ever wrong. Let’s try to keep some sort of balance. Can we commit to lovingly correct mistakes?  We’re human, so let’s admit our own faults to our children!  Pray with them for forgiveness.

Think of the things you want your husband (or husband to be) to be capable of doing.  Some of the important chores I came up with are: killing bugs, taking out the garbage, and yard/car maintenance (whether he does it himself or can pay someone to do it is irrelevant). I’m thankful my MIL taught hubbie to cook, clean, and wash clothes too.  Sure, those are primarily my deal around the house…but if I’m sick or out of the country-he CAN do them!

Good manners are important–opening doors, napkin in-lap, rise when a lady stands, offer her your seat, chew with your mouth closed.

I’m sure I can come up with more, but what are your thoughts? As we raise our sons, what else should they know how to do?

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