It occurs to me as I sit here that a lot of my better posts have begun as ideas in a conversation with a friend. (Definition of friend being someone who knows you and loves you anyway; or is conveniently forgetful enough to not remember why you're such a booger, anyway!)
Anyway, a friend and I were discussing our teenage sons last night. It never ceases to amaze me at what I find in common with other mothers of boys, despite the fact that most of the time I would swear on all that is holy that I'm the only one who is going through some particular drama at the time I'm dragging my little mama self through the sludge that is effective parenting. My friend and I (and I will always call her "friend"... she's known me since high school, and still talks to me!) were talking about what kind of women we would like to see our sons eventually (many, many, many years into the future, naturally) settle down and create a life with. Well, I was talking about that. She might have been doing her laundry. It was over an Instant Message conversation. I'm choosing to believe she was actively participating in the conversation.
We were both concerned about the examples our sons had in their lives. Had they witnessed enough good marriages? I've shared before how my own marriage has only been truly good for the last 4 years or so, and before that was fantabulously craptastic. (Yes, Coach agrees. Go on, ask him. I'll pass along your questions. Promise.) My worry was that Jock and Bug maybe haven't been able to get a good idea of the type of women that they should look for.
My wish for my boys is to find women of strength and character. Women who are not afraid to stand up for themselves, but who recognize and respect the line between assertive and domineering. Women who are not ashamed to admit when they are wrong and know how to sincerely apologize, but who do not spend all of their time apologizing for everything; the time the sun set last night and how it interfered with his plans to drive a bit longer without headlights is NOT her fault and should not be apologized for. I wish for them women who know how to cry, but also know how to NOT use tears as a tool to manipulate the men my sons will become. Women who can take care of themselves, but who recognize an opportunity to make him feel useful by letting him take the car for an oil change or change the bulb in the porch light.
I wish for them to find women who are secure in their place in the world. Women who are comfortable letting these men rule in the kitchen or in the garage, and are likewise just as comfortable themselves in either domain. Women who recognize that to be a good partner, they first have to be a good person. Women who know that the key to raising a well-adjusted child is to be a well-adjusted adult. I want them to find women who are not afraid to take my place as the alpha female in their lives, and who are respectful and firm when they will need to remind me to step back, they've got the responsibility for my boys' happiness, now.
I wish for them to find women who remember how to dream and create fantasies, whether they dance through the rain with my sons or finger paint a masterpiece on the dining room wall in ketchup and mustard with my grandchildren. Women who feel the importance and necessity of daily hugs and holding hands while taking a walk through the grocery store, but who also can recognize and respect the times when these men will need to spend some time by themselves, just enjoying being a man with all the smells and odors that entails. Women who remember to wear sneakers to the game because they'll be running up and down the sidelines, but who can rock a pair of stilettos when he needs that mental image to get him through a long day at work.
Most of all, though, I wish for my sons to find happiness. Deep down to the soul, know that you simply are a better person for it happiness.