My oldest son is now 3 years old and he is a real, what they call “boy’s boy”. He loves everything male: trucks, dirt, tools, dinosaurs, and demolition. This part of him, this MAJOR part of him is so foreign to me I struggle to keep up. I am not into sand and getting dirty, I cannot understand the allure of a power tool and a mess drives me bananas. And yet, I find myself raising a young man who loves this stuff to his very core.
I recently had a conversation with a girlfriend about how challenging I find his form of play. Everything is about fighting and aggression and hurtling oneself headlong into furniture. The pure unbridled energy of it all wears me out. One does not come out unscathed, even when just playing with pint-sized toy dinosaurs. Your hands are sure to be scratched and bruished.
What is delightful about his personality is the relationship that it has kindled with his father, who is very much the same. The two of them can spend hours just finding stuff to do in the garage or in the yard. I am so impressed at how my husband includes in him in every activity and marvel at the patience he displays even though tasks may take triple the time they would if he were to do them on his own. He just finds a way to make it work for a 3 year old. I know this will pay huge dividends in the future.
And so I struggle with how to make a similar connection between the two of us and to relate to him on a level that works for him. I don’t want to temper his personality, I want him to do what comes natural. But, I also want to instill compassion, sensititivty and a sense of responsiblity in this young man that I am raising.