Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just Say Yes

... cause quite often you haven't a clue what you are really in for.

"Hey mom wanna have a hot bath with me?"

"Sure," with a hint of reluctance.

We jump in and chat, the water fills up.

"I'm hot, and gonna get out. Actually, I just made this hot bath for you mom. And this isn't one of my pranks I really did. Now I am going to turn off the lights and get some candles to light for you."

Exit five year old to find the afore mentioned candles and return with daddy to help him light.

"Today is your lucky day and this is your treatment mom."

Exit five year old and daddy, leaving me to a hot bath, on my own, by candle light!"

And this is why I say YES!

I'm serious

This past week, I have witnessed in a new way the importance of truly taking my children and their passions seriously. Mitchel is crazy about hockey. For him this means full immersion in the sport, through games, play, conversation and mimicking. We have had to gather gear, in order to emulate hockey players. This week's request was for a mouth guard and a jock.

I can not pin point the moment when we discussed a jock, or the need for one, however here was my seven year old requesting one. There was every opportunity for me to laugh, joke and question this requirement. Yet, there was a part of me that knew this was an important moment and a genuine request. And so we went to a store and we purchased a jock and a mouth guard. We discussed what would be a good fit, wondered how to put one on, all the time treating it like any piece of sports equipment.

I quickly came to see, that what was happening was powerful for him. He was discussing how to protect his body. He was requesting equipment that all hockey players request. He was purchasing his first jock, with folks he trusts and loves. There was no shame, there was no embarrassment there was nothing but the job at hand.

At home, we examined our purchase, discussed who we thought it would be best to put on and then we tried it on. Right there in the comfort of his own living room, he tried on his jock. There was no secrecy, there was no locker room humor, there was no shame. This was a natural part of being a hockey player. I kept seeing how this was important, this was not something to joke about or make fun of, this was important and I was grateful that I had the awareness to take him seriously.

Next up were discussions while playing hockey in the rain, about females and do they where a jock? Which of course turned in to an anatomy lesson about where the important reproductive parts of males and females are located. There was no big moment of having a "talk" , there was no shame, there was no giggling, there simply was a matter of fact conversation in the hockey game that seriously addressed his wonderings.

In my growing and learning, there was such shame attached to the body, its functions and its sexuality. As I raise my boys, in an open and trusting way, providing answers to their questions and taking their ponderings and passions seriously, I come to see the power in truly taking them seriously. There is a message of faith, of value that comes with this. And I see in them a quiet sense of confidence building as they come to know themselves and the world around them, as truly worthy of serious consideration.