Thursday, June 28, 2007

Being a Boy

As the only child of my parents, when I was born a girl, my Dad said, "What do I do with a girl?" He soon found out that joyous role of being the all-time hero of your daughter's life and having a "Daddy's little girl." But, given my Dad didn't have the pleasure of raising a son, I got to be exposed to lots of sports viewing and actually enjoyed watching most sports. Aside from my affinity for sports, there isn't much else I could do to fill the boy role, because, well, boys are especially different.

A co-worker shared with me yesterday about a book he heard promoted on NPR: A Dangerous Book for Boys. After reading about it online, I found it quite fascinating. Conn and Hal Iggulden, brothers from Britain, wrote this book after realizing that in this over-protective culture, boys need to be introduced to danger and risk. It's the fabric of a boy. But, in our technologically-spinning world, most boys don't make it outside the four walls of their house much, and rarely are untethered from their computer, gameboy, or iPod. Although technology is what pays my bills, I fear this generation of boys is missing out on a whole lot.

How many Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn admirers are there these days? Very few. And, that great classic movie, The Sandlot, tells the tale of a summer with boys - full of baseball, treehouses, s'mores, and crushes on female lifeguards. I see little boys in my world that are afraid of their shadow and would never take on The Beast like the boys of the Sandlot did. Who knows what causes that fear, but a little 'roughing' it up with some other boys in a mudpile would surely do the trick.

This book details all the important skills a boy must know...how to make a bow and arrow...how to build a treehouse....how to skip stones....how to play paper football. There's even lots of stories in the book about our history, including the famous battles that every boy can fantasize about. This is definitely a must read for every boy in your life.

They have a site devoted to the promotion of the book, including a YouTube trailer. Maybe my favorite part of the book is the instructions given for interacting with a girl:

"If you see a girl in need of help--unable to lift something, for example--do not taunt her. Approach the object and greet her with a cheerful smile, while surreptitiously testing the weight of the object. If you find you can lift it, go ahead. If you can't, try sitting on it and engaging her in conversation."

I think I'll buy this book for every man I know...

4 comments:

Cherie <> said...

LOL...I love that quote...Men need to be much more assertive! Okay, SOME men need to be :). Apparently my husband was assertive enough :).

Jen said...

Thanks for the tip about this book. I read every book I can get my hands on about raising boys. I love that my two boys can play with rocks and sticks for hours on end. If I could teach them how to make a bow and arrow, I'd be their hero! :)

RosieBoo said...

A friend of mine just bought it for his little boy, so we'll so how it works :)

Jules said...

Okay, I'll try not to be too wordy (ha. ha.)--but I have to tell you this!!

It's funny that you made the Mark Twain reference, because just the other day Jack came in and I called him "Huckleberry" (and then had to explain myself...) :OD

EVERYday...not a couple of times a week...but EVERYDAY...my sweet baby boy (okay, he's 10) goes outside...only reappearing for food and potty breaks occassionally (He can do that since we live on a closed military post). He jumps on trampolines, plays pretend war games with other kids, rides his bike, climbs anything that is stationary, and plays baseball (He also is a fan of Benny the Jet from the Sandlot, and will dress accordingly...).

Right now I have several minnows on my front porch in a bottle formerly known as a 2-liter Diet Mt Dew...he caught them in a creek with a cup. He calls this "fishing."

"Be back in awhile, Mom...we're goin' fishin'..." as he walks out the door with a red plastic solo cup.

He comes in at night sweaty, sticky, filthy-----AND HAPPY!!

And as much as I worry myself sick over what God-forsaken disease he's going to catch---I am so glad that he doesn't know the first stinkin' thing about a video game.

Thanks for reminding me of the blessings I can be oblivious to at times!!!

Please send your cash and donations to Antibacterial Soap Fund in care of my residence! :OD

Love, Jules