How do you raise a boy?
I've struggled with this question since we found out we were having one so many months ago. How do you raise one? One that is respectful, kind, generous and loving? Hmmm...I guess that is how you raise a girl as well. No difference except for when puberty hits and you have to help them navigate the scary, confusing overload of emotions.
One of my ideas all along was to not push Noah into loving what I love. I've seen so many parents push their children to love what they love and I refuse to do that to my son. I would be ecstatic if my son loves Spider-man as much as I do but, if he doesn't, I'll survive. I just want to see that smile of his doing exactly what he wants to do. Also, I didn't want to push him into being a man like John Wayne. It's hard to be a man just as it's hard to be a woman. It gets harder when you become a father and/or mother. The pressure is tremendous. I want him to be strong and thoughtful and kind and generous and respectful.
This what I want from Noah, and I hope to get to get it.
To Noah, my son...
I want you to be happy with the person you choose to become and love yourself for it.
Be an optimist
You will be happier when you look at life as in a positive light rather than a negative one.
Be a survivor and not a victim
God forbid you suffer something horrifying, don't wear it as something to use to solicit pity or as a crutch or a hindrance preventing your life from moving forward. The saying is true; Shit really does happen. It happens to a lot of people each and every day. Some overcome them and others don't. Try your hardest to not let it defeat you. Don't let it define you.
Ask and/or seek help
Don't be afraid to ask for it as well as looking for help. This goes with the aforementioned bullet point. There is no shame in seeking professional help. I sought professional help and I'm not ashamed to admit that. I'm glad I did because I feel so much better about myself.
Become a Drummer
March to the beat of your own drum. It's hard to actually do in this day and age when, sometimes, all you want to do is belong. It's human nature to want to fit in and while it's normal, I hope you stays true to yourself and do what makes you happy.
The gender roles have changed. No longer are women "required" to stay home, raise the kids, make the yums and cater to men. The same can be said about men. They are not "required" to change the flat, smell like Old Spice and eat nothing but meat. Don't ever think it is beneath you to do a load of laundry, make a meal or change a diaper. In fact, it makes you a pretty remarkable person if you can do things and not be concerned about it being a "woman's job" or a "man's job".
It's quite the conundrum. How do you raise a son in this world? It's hard work being a parent when he's 5 months old so imagine trying to parent a boy who is 15? But, I guess, in the end, we will cross that bridge when we get there.
I really hope and pray he is happy. In the end, this is what I want. I want my son to be happy. If he is happy, then I will take it as a success story.