{Raising Boys Day 27} Why You are not just Raising a Boy

I think my oldest son was about 5 when we discovered Legos.  Of course, we always knew they existed but he was our first child so this was the very beginning of the infiltration of Legos into our home.  I had no idea years later they would reproduce in odd and unusual places, deep in the plush living room rug, tucked in the corners of the Master Bathroom (how in the world?) and, somehow, always underfoot as you traipse across a dark room in the middle of the night.  

Like a bad strain of the flu, Legos reproduce quickly and take over a home.  

A year or two into our Lego collection, I made my first real attempt to control the madness.  Their vast and colorful shapes and sizes had made for an overflowing tub of messiness, so I decided we needed a healthy dose of organization.  Together my son and I spent the entire day sorting bricks and pieces by color.  I bought coordinating bins and we sifted through piles of Legos until each piece found it’s appropriate color coordinated home.  I was so proud of our efforts.  If I would have known what Pinterest was back then I would have photographed and Pinned it.  It was that kind of fabulous.

Days went by and each time my son would reach for his Legos I would pull out my best June Cleaver voice and remind him to “please replace each brick in it’s proper color coordinated bin when you are finished playing“.   Legos were not going to conquer our home, I was the mom who would conquer them!

But after about a week into my conquering, I noticed something.  My son stopped playing with his Legos. There was no big resolution or discussion, he just kind of, stopped.

My son is a creative type.  He loves Legos because he loves to create expansive worlds and wild and unusual creatures.  He enjoys putting together a new set, but even more, he loves tearing that new set apart so he can use those new pieces in creations that he is constantly forming in his own mind.

He is more of a Type B personality, born to a Type A mama.  A Type A mama who just completely stymied her son’s creativity with her marvelous system of organization.  Ouch.

You see, what I didn’t take time to realize is that color coordinated bins don’t lend themselves to his style of creating because his creations involve lots of color, pieces from each and every bin we sorted.  And putting Legos away became twice the chore because he now had to unshelf nearly a dozen bins to get everything back in the correct place lest his mama dropped the June Cleaver voice and got annoyed at the mess.

My son would much rather dive into one gigantic bin of Legos and be inspired by all the varied pieces, shapes and sizes.  He thrives in that bit of chaos, his creativity is stimulated by that.

And so I learned something about my life as mom that day.  

I can have fabulous ideas.  I can read wonderful books and seek out the latest parenting advice for raising this brilliant boy (and the other three children God has blessed me with).  I can even Pin fabulous and creative ideas that help me along the way, but none of that knowledge, those good ideas and inspiration, will help if I don’t know my son. 

In order to grow him, I need to know his strengths and weaknesses.  

In order to train him, I need to know his heart.

And in order to love him well, I need to seek God daily for how he would have me lead him.

In order to love my son well, I need to seek God daily. #boymom Click To Tweet

We’re not just raising boys here, we’re raising our sons.  Unique and fabulous individuals, sons who are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Sons that God gave, not just to anyone, but to us.  He trusted you and me to do this well.

I’m not knocking parenting advice; I’ve learned so much from great books and mentors, but it is vital that I filter that knowledge through the truth of who my son is, how he responds and reacts, what makes him tick.  

Your son is a unique and fabulous gift, unlike the neighbor boy or your best friend’s boy or any other boy you’ll meet.  Know him; grow him well.  It’s ones of the greatest efforts you will spend your life on.

And in case you are wondering how we organize Legos these days. All of the glorious rainbow assortment of Legos find their home in shallow, under-bed type bins, only half full for easier hunting and searching for that perfect piece and easily scooped up and dumped into at clean up time.  And even so, we still find that random Lego underfoot in the living rug, occasionally.

Hi, I’m Katie!  Wife, mom and writer at I Choose Brave.  I believe in dreaming big and pursuing those dreams, loving well and not being afraid to show it and living each day of this life I’ve been given for the glory of my Creator.  Even the hard and messy days, actually, especially the hard and messy ones. And that’s why I choose brave.  Because life is tough and often scary, but a commitment to do it bravely, seasoned with faith, makes all the difference.  When I’m not writing you’ll find me homeschooling my four kids, working at still dating my husband, reading or whipping something up in the kitchen (anything but pie, that is!).  I choose brave.  Every day.  I pray you will too.

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8 comments

  1. Consuelo says:

    I am the proudest momma of 3 wonderful boys. My sons are now young men; 24, 22, & 19… I’m having such a difficult time letting go; I’m crying & asking God to forgive me & help me ….

    • Katie says:

      I can only imagine, Consuelo. Take in heart in knowing your job is not done though! I am so thankful to be blessed with a strong and godly mother and when life gets hard and messy she is the first person I call. I’m sorry that the transition is so tough and I’m not even oging to pretend I know what that feel like, but always remember that you never have to stop being the prayer champion for your boys; they will alway need you. I’m saying a prayer for you this evening!

  2. Candee says:

    Great post Katie! I’m trying to learn about my ever changing boy. I find it easy to relate to and understand my daughters but I’ve noticed I’ve had to be more intentional about taking time to get to know my previous boy.

    • Katie says:

      Moving targets can keep us guessing for sure, but even the fact that you are trying won’t go unnoticed. Keep praying and God will be faithful to show you how to raise your boy well!

  3. Dawn says:

    Katie, I smiled as I read this, because I did the exact same thing with my son’s legos- and even ended up with the same solution (the shallow under bed bin). But you make a great point. Our sons are unique individuals and parenting them well means getting to really know them for who they are.

    • Katie says:

      Well, if nothing else, maybe we just saved another young mama from that day of organization, Dawn. 🙂 Skip right to the underbed bins, Mamas! Seriously though, getting to really know each of my children as they grow is one my greatest joys in motherhood. Such a blessing their differing strengths and talents are!

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