..... that I think it's good for my children to hear as they go about their daily lives. Things that teach them so many different things about life, and how to go about living it.
My boys should hear their dad and I laughing together softly, when we think we're alone. I think this teaches my boys that its perfectly acceptable to enjoy your life partner.
My boys should hear their dad and I tell each other we love each other. Often. I believe this teaches them that it's ok to express your love to your partner, and to expect to have that love expressed right back.
My boys should hear their dad and I disagree sometimes. Notice that I didn't say "fight". I'm not going to sit here and tell you that Coach and I don't fight. We do. We're as different as night and day, and there is no way in this lifetime or any other that we will agree on all things. However, we try not to fight in front of the boys. That being said, we do think its healthy for them to see that its ok for a husband and wife NOT to agree on everything. I believe this teaches them that its ok to have your own opinion, and ok to express that opinion, as long as its done respectfully. I also believe that it will encourage them to seek out strong partners, who aren't afraid to be themselves.
My boys should hear their dad and I admit to wanting to spend some time together, without them. I believe it will teach them to always remember that they and their future wives were partners first, parents later.
My boys should hear their dad and I tell them No on occasion. I believe it strengthens their spirit, and reminds them that some things in life must be worked for and achieved on their own merits.
My boys should not only hear me tell them I love them at least once daily (although believe me when I tell you I can not even begin to count how many times I actually tell them), they should hear their dad tell them he loves them at least once daily. I believe it teaches them that as men, it is perfectly ok to show love for your children. Your male children, at that. I feel that this is especially true the older they get, and will never be convinced that it doesn't matter to Jock when Coach tells him that every night.
My boys should hear us when we comment that we'd rather stay in bed than get up and go to work. And then watch us as we still get up, get ready and get out the door. I believe this will teach them that not only do we not always get to do what we want, but when we've made a commitment to someone it is important to follow through.
My boys should hear on occasion, "This week, Kid X is going to be playing in your position for the game. He had a better week at practice than you did." I believe this teaches them the value of always working hard, but realizing that sometimes.... there is just someone better at that spot than you. I also believe this teaches them to work harder, and to make sure that they can play more than one position. Its always good to be able to do more than one thing, no matter where you are in life.
As their mom, my first reaction is to coddle them. To take them by the hand and lead them through life's obstacle course. I want to follow behind them, picking up every piece of laundry, to make sure that they get all their socks into the basket. I want to fight every battle, and replace their difficult teachers with ones that will allow them to work at their own pace, no matter if they should or not.
As their dad, Coach's first reaction is to toughen them up, to prepare them well for life as a man. He wants to let them learn all their lessons on their own, for how can the lesson truly sink in if its being spoon fed to them? He wants them to learn how to stand strong in the face of adversity.
Fortunately, Coach and I balance each other out, I think. He keeps me from being too overprotective, and I've taught him to be more sensitive. And our boys are reaping the benefits of this relationship he and I have built with each other. They are learning to be responsible, fighting more of their own battles. They are comfortable showing their emotions, often hugging both their dad and I in public. They show remarkable sportsmanship when one of their teammates does better than they do, being the loudest voices from the bench shouting encouraging words towards the field. While Jock has only had one real girlfriend so far in his life, he was courteous, respectful and openly affectionate (while still being appropriate, too,thank goodness!) to her, but kept his backbone firmly intact when it mattered.
So yes, I'd have to say that we're doing the best we can by our sons. And I'm proud of us for it.
Even if I do still lose the battle occasionally, and head off to collect all the socks!