Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Raising a Wildman

On Sunday, while enjoying a lovingly prepared brunch, talking with old college friends in a spectacular old home, I watched as my sweet, charming Gus attacked his best friend, like seriously attacked him. It was sort of awful. Gus jumped on top his friend, pinned him to the ground, then got up and kicked him! As I watched through the window, the whole scene played before me in slow motion. It was crazy; what the hell was Gus doing?
After passing Arlo off to the closest adult, I ran outside to find out what happened. The kids were play wrestling and my little wild man took it too far, way too far, and I haven't been able to get the scene out of my head for days now.
Being a mama is hard, but being a mama of boys is even harder for me because I don't really get them. At least I think I don't get them. Maybe I just don't get Gus. I understand where Sena is coming from most of the time. Sure, I don't always like her behavior, but I understand it. I don't always understand Gus.
Gus's little incident happened in front of  a few adults, and none of them seemed as disturbed as I was. Almost all the witnesses were men, men I have known for a long time, men who are not at all violent, men  I have never seen get in fights or posture or even act aggressive. And all of these men seemed to think  it was normal, what boys do. They weren't saying that it was acceptable, but inevitable, a part of growing up. It wasn't a reflection of my bad parenting or a sign of some latent violent tendencies in my blonde boy. It was a part of being a kid and figuring things out.
Gus is full of so much. He is full of goodness and kindness. He is full of spunk and charm. He is full of big words, prayers, and compliments. And he is full of so much energy and some of that energy is bound to come spewing out in unacceptable directions, and we're going to have to figure out how to raise that boy, how to raise him above those wildman tendencies, how to raise him to his greatest possible potential.

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