Thursday, November 12, 2009

The One Where My Boys Strike Back

Well, my last post was pretty hard on boys… at least one in particular. The fact is, I feel a little sorry for Cowboy. He used an unfortunate analogy and almost certainly regrets it. Don’t get me wrong… he should regret it. But I have to play devil’s advocate here and write one for the boys. As it happens, I usually take the boys’ side in everything. Maybe that is just an occupational hazard for a mother of six sons… not to mention the fact that I have so many other friends who happen to be boys/men… like all the missionaries who have lived in our home... and I think of them all as my boys. In fact, when I was called to be the teacher for the 16-18 year-old girls in my church for three years, I was a little shocked, and more than a little worried. I wasn’t sure I would be able to like them all that much. I had never had much use for girls. On the whole, they seemed much louder, meaner and more sophisticated (in a bad way) than boys.

To my happy surprise, I loved the girls. They were beautiful, unselfish and fun, and they have become some of my best friends. That was a nice thing to discover, especially as my own boys were reaching the age where they have begun to marry. My oldest son picked one of the best ones I have ever met, and married her. That is certainly an encouraging start, right? So, back to my boys… all of them, whether my sons or not. If the girls deserve a boy who is willing to climb to the top of the tree, what do my boys deserve? More than they are getting, in a lot of cases, I’m afraid. When they call to tell me their dating experiences, I am constantly dismayed by what girls put them through. It is bad enough that girls play mind games with each other, but as boys usually are more straightforward in their interactions, it is most unfair to play mind games with them. Many of them are not equipped for that sport, and the good ones don’t want to play.

Here is what my boys deserve:

1. A girl who is beautiful. But beautiful in the right way… a girl who is unfailingly modest in dress, speech and actions. One of the standards of my church is to dress modestly… something that most of the world thinks is rather strange. But my boys deserve nothing less. Whether you see her at the beach, at church, shopping, or just on Facebook, she should be modest. Let me be clear here… this is not because I don’t want the boys to think bad thoughts. My boys can master their thoughts. It is something much more important… it marks a commitment to covenants they have made. And no double standards either... my boys are modest themselves. When my daughter Cambria was about two, she was pointing out swimsuits that she thought were “pretty.” I told her they weren’t very modest, and I asked her if she knew what modest meant. She very smugly told me, “Yes. It means ugly.” We laughed about that for days, but I am here to tell you that it does not mean ugly. I am a big fan of beautiful, stylish modesty. It is really easy to say that most of the girls wear their skirts too short and their swimsuits too tiny, so you can’t judge a girl by that standard. But I know girls who are unfailingly modest. They stand out like a bright light from the girls who are not… and my boys deserve nothing less than that.

2. A girl who is honest. No ex-boyfriends that aren’t really ex. No saying things she doesn’t mean. No pretending to feel more or less than she really does. No treating my boys like a plaything. Honest.

3. A girl who is unselfish. She needs to care more about others than herself, because that is how my boys are. I have worried, in the affluent area where I live, that DK and I have spent the last twenty years raising sons who can support a family, while my neighbors have spent the same years raising daughters that my boys can never possibly afford to marry. My boys are not just finding a girl to marry; they are finding a mother for their children, and that is about a hundred times more important.

4. A girl who is kind. She must be kind to her friends, kind to her family, kind to children, and… kind to my boys.

5. A girl who is better than my boys. Or at least they think she is. She needs to be so amazing, that they behave better around her. They try harder, and reach bigger goals, because she makes them want to be better men. She safeguards their virtue along with her own. She reminds them of how great they are, encourages them, sets a good example, and yet still follows wise counsel. Every one of my boys deserves a girl who is better than they are.

So come on, girls. It’s time to step it up a little. Be more to get more. I told you the apple analogy. You can never be that rotten apple sitting on the ground waiting for any lazy boy to scoop you up and take a bite. You are better than that. My boys are better than that. You might wonder how you can compete in a world of girls who use tricks and sexy clothes to get their way. Don’t think for a single minute that my boys can’t tell the difference. Yes, there are boys that are looking for those girls. But I will tell you right now… not my boys.


Tyler said...

Thanks Mom.

Jennilyn said...

YES! Great list. I am sending my boys and my girls your post!

Carolyn said...

I grew up with only on sister, parented by a mother who was one of 6 girls.

Boys are a mystery to me I am always surprised by my sons.

I think I need to save this list and give it to them when they turn 16. Actually I think my girls should read it too.

Choosy mom said...

This is a perfect filter. Your boys should print out this sheet and make check boxes for the girls they are dating. You do raise good boys if I must say so. I remember when I met Josh and thought, “I am amazed that there is a boy this good still out there in the world today”. And all of your boys are so good. Thanks for giving hope to the female race of finding good boys. Now I just have to raise a good boy.

Erika said...

Excellent, Vic! I'm gonna have to steal this from you for obvious reasons! You're so good at putting down MY thoughts on YOUR blog - AMAZING!

Cherie said...

Great post and oh so true.
These boys, the good ones who choose the right, go on missions, and live worthily deserve nothing but the best when it comes to the girls.
Those are the boys I want my girls to marry.
Those boys don't want the girls who dress sleezy or use tricks. They want the real deal!
I also want my boys to have the best girls. The ones who care about their appearance, who know who they are, who treat people kindly and among other things those who have values.
I am proud of the YM and YW I have seen in my home. They are so neat!

Debbie / Cranberry Fries said...

Yes yes yes. You need to give a talk in a stake youth meeting about this. It seems to me the kids these days need encouraging words like this that they're both out there looking for good people. There is no reason to stoop to something less than the good people they are to get attention. Great post Vic.

Lindsay said...

i loved this!!!

Loralee and the gang... said...

I love this post, and I love your blog! I came over here to read Just Me the Mom's post...
I think I will send a copy of this post to my son, who is about to finish his mission, timed just right so that he can read it on his (very long) flight home. Perfect, and I will be back (cuz I'm Following!)

JUST ME, THE MOM said...

Victoria -

You win! My favoritest post of the year . . . this is THE best, I'm forwarding it to everyone I know:)


Thanks for stopping by - kindred spirit

Shewinn8 said...

Do you have one who is my youngest daughters age? She is almost 18 and pretty much fits the description lol (of course I am her mother lol) Thanks for the thoughts and the beautiful post. I think you should publish it somehow. Loved it!

Anonymous said...

This post makes me happy. For obvious reasons. :) -ITS ALL GOOD

USMCBandNerd said...

She has an eighteen year old Marine and a 21 year old (almost) return missionary.

Stephanie said...

It's so true. Your boys are amazing and deserve the best. Elder McDaniel is almost home!