I have been working on a slide show this week for our son's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. One of the photos, taken a few years back when I dropped him off at camp, reminded me of the moment I heard those painful words for the first time. "Mom, step back, I'm talking to your son." If you are a mother of a son, you are going to hear those words, someday. It may be on the athletic field. Or when he goes for his driver's license test. Or like perhaps at a scouting event when a man, other than his father, wants your son's undivided attention. Bottom line, there are places our young men go where their moms aren't welcome.
In his book, Womanly Dominion, More than a Gentle and Quiet Spirit, Mark Chanski quotes his previous book, Manly Dominion, regarding this topic.
"Even if they are home-schooled, boys should be taught that the pattern of the home is not the pattern of their future life. They are to grow up prepared to go out into the world and conquer it. If they are domesticated, they will be unfit to do battle with the world on any level. Boys need the rough and tumble of getting their heads knocked once in a while, and Mom cannot be there to pick up the pieces every time."
For this reason, we have purposefully tackled projects around our home - retaining walls, additions, landscaping improvements - to give our sons opportunity to contribute to our home in physical ways.
My hardest lesson in this area was one rainy summer day. One of our boys, about twelve at the time, had accepted a job of cutting the neighbor's grass. There was a storm coming. In fact, it was just about at the back door. My husband knew this storm was ushering in three days of constant rain.
Together, husband and son decided the neighbor's yard had to be cut now! Despite my protests, which got almost as loud and heated as the approaching thunder and lightening, my son cut the grass.
Racing to make good on a promise was a small way he had to face the world and conquer it.
Conquering the world is scriptural for men. Adam was given work to do from before the fall of man. (Genesis 2:15) Through the years, I have learned to allow for activities that challenge my sons.
If you want men who will someday stand on mountain tops, allow your boys to regularly try things that make you cringe. Allow them to stumble and to scrape their knees without too much reaction on your part. Boys are made to sweat, to get muddy, and then try it all again on their way to the top.