Monday, November 9, 2009

One of the Good Guys

I am well aware that there are parental hurdles that I will have to overcome as a single mother of a boy. There are the inevitable stereotypes that come along with each gender. I am hyper-sensitive to them, with a heightened awareness for the fact that Aidan is modeling after a female on a more frequent basis. I am forever trying to both cuddle him and engage in rough and tough wrestling with the enthusiasm of a guy. I endeavor to raise him to be as well rounded as possible. Then there are the undeniable opposite sex basics: we use different restrooms when out in public, one of us goes lid up, one goes lid down, we have different “junk”.

However, there are differences far superior in importance to me than the fact that only a few more months can slip by before posted signs regulate that I must send my child through the men’s locker room before we can swim together.

I wish I could think of a more eloquent way to phrase it. But what I want to say is this: I will not raise an asshole.

That kid will continue to put the lid down and open doors for women and be good, SO GOOD, to people. He will be the kind of guy that returns communication and is genuine and treats people like they matter. When a bunch of adolescent high school girls are having a sleepover, their topic of conversation will not include how my son Aidan is a self-centered jerk. No one will be crying because he broke their heart and then stomped on the pieces. He will be fun, he will get himself in crazy trouble, he will break the rules and have to fix his own mistakes, he will continue to cause me to pull my hair out. But he will not ever intentionally be an asshole, so help me.

So this morning is totally typical. I’m drying my hair; Aidan is eating breakfast at the table. We turn some music on so Aidan can rock a little 6:30 am air guitar while I attempt to locate the desired pair of turquoise earrings to match my outfit. Aidan walks up to me.

“Mom?” he questions, totally serious.


“So. This girl in my class wants to marry me.”

“Really? What do you think about that?

“Well, I like her and all. But what about all the other girls?”

A ladies’ man? Maybe. Probably. That kid is so charming. But his mama will make sure that when the time comes to have relationships with those girls…he will treat them right.

I’m sure his future wife will thank me that she got blessed with this guy who is cuddly and engaging and sensitive and articulate and active. Because his mama cared, more than report cards, more than athletic prowess, more than his creative ability to fashion something impressive on a piece of paper…she cared that he was one of the good guys, that he knew what it meant to value the life of someone else.


  1. As a girl in a family of mostly-girls (two sisters, 3 female cousins I was close to, only 1 male cousin, who was a good deal older), and as a girl who was very into ballet and Barbies and ponies and all that, I always dreaded one day having a boy. I thought I wouldn't know what to do with him, how to play with him, etc. because babysitting for boys was always a challenge for me. I always hoped that I would someday have a little girl, because MAN, I would know how to raise a girl. Unless she was a tomboy. Then I don't know what I would do. ;-)

    Anyway, this blog post gives me hope - your son sounds like such a wonderful kid, and while I'm sure there are challenges (especially being a single mama), my heart has been officially warmed to the thought of someday having a boy.

  2. I can count on one hand the number of guys that truly stood out from the crowd. No matter what the situation was, I will ALWAYS remember that they lacked the asshole gene and I admire them for that. Great post!

  3. Just as an opinion, You go Girl!
    We have always taught our children to put the seat...AND the lid down. Always and forever. When the boy's go, they must take some tissue and dab the fireman (that's right we called their penis several names, just to make it amusing), AND wipe the rim of the bowl, then close both seat and lid..wash, dry and smile at a job well done...because if it isn't then that person has to clean the bathroom that week, and NO ONE wants that job on the shear principle of it alone!

    We always taught the boy's to answer, as no one can actually hear the rocks in your head rattle, to open the door for anyone, not just girls, because it's polite and no marriage before age 10, as there ARE so many girls to choose from ad they are ALL (sorry here Penelope and co.) fickle and will drop you like a rock on an instant for candy or who ever currently has the newest toy to share.

    So, as each of my children has been proposed to, bribed and threatened with harm if they didn't marry the girl/guy(Tabitha had several 6-7 year old suitors, including one that kept pulling her in the shrubs to kiss him), by the ripe old age of 6, we carefully explained why marriage must wait until they are ready to find the "right" person by age 10. That is generally when each despises the opposite sex anyway, so we were safe!

    Penelope, you are one of a kind and raising such a wonderful little man, You Go Girl!!