Years after a film called “Baby–Boy” was released the thought crossed my mind about the men in many of our lives. The movie explored the phenomenon from the product/consumer aspect. I want to cover the manufacturer for a bit.
With the disclaimer always close to the beginning of pieces like this, I have to say all of us should not reproduce. That is not being mean or insensitive, but getting older one has to view things in retrospect and see the disservice we do to our children, when we do not take our roles seriously or consciously. We hurt and damage them innocently, but we do these things to them just the same.
My sons KNOW that they are the loves of my life. I am proud and in awe of them and their respective accomplishments. They also know, from me, that during my reproductive years I yearned for a daughter. We have discussed this openly and I believe that they have not been harmed with that knowledge, because of the way I conveyed this information. Yet there are things that we do not share with our children; yes somethings should not be put out there, but when you hide important facts from those who are ultimately affected, the inevitable fallout is much worse.
God blessed me with two handsome boys; I rearranged my mind and actually had a business plan to help my need to have someone to dress up fulfilled. They donned Christian Dior and Guess layette. Nike crib shoes adored their tiny feet and Calvin Klein covered their diapers. Numerous results could be connected with MY OBSESSIONS, fortunately my children survived me.
My wise friends and I have covered our children on various levels at times we have noted we have raised the type of men we had hoped to marry “Once-Upon-A-Time”( Please do not look at this from a sick reverse Oedipus stand-point). At other times we see that some things we observe them doing, are things we would NOT tolerate ourselves from a man. Each of these scenarios are a testament to the viewed successes or failures as their mothers.
The connection, well we as their mothers are charged with raising sons of whom we will turn over to other women who will hopefully reap the benefits of our positive, sensitive, and knowledgeable rearing. The irony is that we will do this based in part (and oftentimes a good part of) from our own bad experiences. Follow that up with the unattainable goal of being the kind of man our “daddy/father/dad was. We may as well hand these little ones a guide to nuclear medicine at four.
Sadly this is a “turkey shoot” and we really do not think about this fact, as we take these man-children on the adventure of growing up. I must note I am not ignoring the facts that we may or may not have a spouse, mate, man in our lives during these times, for this must be factored in as well. However, my area of concentration is on us, the women.
I made my boys into young male fashion dolls. I was on one hand given the illusion boys would be simpler to dress and maintain. I embraced this, but simultaneously under-minded it with my need to make them appearance conscious. The long-term affects have been one never has a hair out of place and his wife notes this in passing as she jokes of him constantly in the mirror. The other would just as soon walk out the door without combing his hair, could exist in a world without mirrors, and is uncomfortable with being told he is handsome even by his girlfriend.
Think of the mothers who raised their sons angry at men, who may or may not be these same sons’ fathers. What about the mothers that were alone and told young boys of six or seven, “You have to be/are the man of the house”. What lessons or learned behavior do you suppose they will carry with them into adulthood?
Some of the intent illustrated here was be neat and well groomed, don’t treat women badly and be responsible. The question is how did it translate to a child, and how was it interpreted when that child became an adult? One day Mama’s Little Man will in fact be a man, therefore we mothers have an obligation that reaches beyond self.