Wednesday, May 27, 2009

10 Things I Like

Boys #2 and 3 got into it today. Again.

Boy #2 looked across the lunch table and told #3, "I hate you."

Inside, I was screaming. We've been through this before. They -- all four of them -- know that saying they "hate" someone is completely unacceptable. We've told them, over and over again, that it's OK to be mad, it's Ok to feel angry, and it's even OK to not like someone, but it's not OK to hate someone -- especially when that someone is your brother.

We've talked, over and over, about how it can be hard to get along sometimes, how the ones we live with are often the ones who annoy us the most. We've expressed sympathy. We've laid down the law. We've worked to create connections. And yet -- there was #2, saying he hated #3.

I took a deep breath. "Go get a piece of paper and a pencil and sit down." #2 grumbled, but complied.

I took the pencil from him and wrote "10 Things I Like About 3" on top. (OK, I didn't really write "3." I used his name.) #2 isn't a completely independent reader, but he knew what I wrote.

"Aaaaaaaaaawww, 10? Can't you make it 5?"

Nope. Ten.

So he sat. And he thought. His first "like" -- "I like it when #3 is gone!" -- was not quite what I was looking for. His second try -- "He gives me money" -- was closer. By number 8, he'd gotten around to, "Sometimes he's sort of funny."

The whole exercise made me think. It's easy for me to tell you the things I don't like about my kids. It's easy for me to tell you the myriad ways they're frustrating me. But do I really take time to think about all the things I like about my boys?

So I present 10 Things I Like About My Boys:
  1. They challenge my thinking
  2. They inspire me to be a better person
  3. They teach me things (Thanks to my boys, I now know the difference between a crappie and a bluegill)
  4. They give me a great excuse to go to the museum. And the zoo. The park too.
  5. They've introduced me to the wonder of bugs. And dinosaurs.
  6. They connect me to my Dad in a way nothing else has.
  7. They love me -- and tell me so frequently.
  8. They're not afraid to try new things
  9. They're kind and helpful (for the most part)
  10. They're convenient. I never have to comb their hair and they can pee anywhere.

What about you? What do you like about your boys?


  1. They force me to learn things like dinosaur name pronunciation, double-wing football plays, why you shouldn't pick up ants, but mostly how to be a mom.

    Inspiring post, in more ways than one!

  2. 4 Things I Ha... Dislike About Your Boys

    1. They're dumb. I know they're young, but they're seriously WAY TOO easy to manipulate.

    2. They don't like your cooking. And I've mooched a number of meals and raided your fridge many times. It's all very tasty.

    3. They're Jedi skills are ... lacking. Have them take a blood test and just break the news to them.

    4. Combined, they're something like 0 for 30 years for girlfriends.

  3. They're wash and wear.

    They're simple, no girl drama.

    They show me what my husband must have been like growing up.

    Michelle Rafter

  4. Funny post. So true. Loved the exercise you made them do. What a learning experience! And I love how you turned it back on yourself. What a great role model!

    Absolutely love your No. 10 on the list. Made me laugh, and I like anything that makes me laugh.


  5. Great post!

    There are so many things I love about my boys. I, too, love the roll-out-of-bed-and-go aspect, especially after having two girls, one with very long hair. I like how excited they get about things that are completely foreign to me, like building something with Legos. Living with boys, for me, is a completely different experience!

  6. Great additions, everyone! My favorite, though, had to be Michelle's: "They show me what my husband must have been like as a kid."