Thursday, September 20, 2012

Son Or Husband?

The relationship between a mother and son is like no other. My mother went home to be with the Lord 26 years ago, and in many ways I am still a "Mama's Boy". Raising a son gives a mother insight into manhood, and it gives them a chance to learn about the male dynamic in a way that is just not possible when they are dealing with other males. They have access to an unadulterated, honest portrayal that is more pure and reflective of male development. The nurturing is different. Women know all about what it is like to be a little girl, so while there are nuances, it is still somewhat familiar territory when raising one. I think there is a tendency for a mother to coddle her son as oppose to a father. Most men realize that simply being a productive man in today's society has it's own set of unique challenges. Challenges that, no matter how wonderful a Mom a young man might have, just will not allow her to convey the particular skill set necessary to not only survive, but thrive in sometimes harsh world. So the instinct is to protect rather than to prepare, and with the number of single parent household's higher than it has ever been, often times there is no father or father figure present to help a young man spread his wings. In the absence of a father a lot of boys end up becoming both the man of the house, and a substitute husband for the mother who has dedicated her life to raising him. These children quite often become their mother's best friends and confidant's, and are really nothing but little boys who find themselves filling the shoes of grown men by default. Although unintentional some mothers treat their son's as equal's allowing them to make their own decisions way before they are equipped to do so.
On my son's team there are two mother's who each bring a son, and two father's who each bring a son, including myself. All four of our son's had a tough time in the beginning because they wanted to be on the team but had no idea what was required. My son is a few years in, and going strong. I realize there may have been times when he wanted to quit but he knows that winner's never quit because I tell him that a true man never gives up. The other young man who is accompanied by his father has always struggled and has continued to struggle but never gives up, and never complains. The other two boys who were brought to practice by their Mom's, struggled, complained to the coach and their mother's and just stopped coming all together after a few practices, driven home by sympathetic women with looks of pity in their eyes.
So these prepubescent young men are taught to give up when the going gets tough. Over the past few years I have seen a lot of young men come and go, and while I don't know what the reasons were, I know what I observe.
My purpose in writing this is not to beat up on single mothers because there are those who manage to raise son's who grow up to be productive citizen's despite adversity. The fact of the matter is, if more men were willing to participate in raising their children this would be much less of an issue. But, on the other hand there are women who deny men the right to parent, and participate in their sons development. There has to be a common ground, and these young men should be the #1 priority.


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