Thank heaven for little boys

“Thank heaven for little boys” reads the light blue sign in my youngest son’s room. My wife secured it after the birth of our third bundle of testosterone. We now have four and what a joy it has been. A real reason to give thanks… for my wife.

Every once in a while I’m jolted into an awareness that homes with four little girls don’t operate like ours. Such as the night I shuffled in the dark to do my business and descended onto cold, wet porcelain.

My better half reminds me often how undeveloped a boy’s frontal lobe is – the one used for sound decision-making. The one that makes gravity and germs and other pesky forces of reality negotiable.

As it stands, I’m hearing a lot of, “Hey guys! Who wants to do a dog pile?” and, “Tackle me!” Two-hand touch is as foreign a concept as daily bathing.

At one point, I pulled a big brother off a little one and the little one started crying. I took away his playmate!

Bodily functions, of course, consume plenty of air. “Who went tee-tee in the garage?” I asked one son, about three at the time. “A skunk did,” he replied. Somebody call the city!

The logic hasn’t much improved. When I asked him two years later, “Who passed gas?” he blamed it on the actors on TV. Our TV is smart, but not that smart. Thankfully so.

A great irony of boyhood: For as inaccurate as they can be at the toilet, they can be remarkably precise with a BB gun. “I shot a dove, but he flew away.” Hmmm.

Other weapons can be just as deadly in the right small hands. “I saw three deer and killed them all…with my pocket knife.” What courage.

I once let one son wander in the woods near a pond we were fishing. Upon his return, I asked him what he saw on his walk. “Fierce animals.” I had no idea.

If worms bait fish, bodies of water bait boys. The longer you stay around them, the more likely boys will get in. Temperature and attire make no difference. Neither do speed or depth. It’s only a matter of time. Despite what mom may say.

Boy moms have a particular vernacular. Sometimes they re-direct without squelching: “You are welcome to do that outside.”

Other times they direct without question: “You HAVE to wear shoes.” Mumbling to themselves is no sign of instability, “Just when I think it can’t get any louder…”

They are not responsible for supernatural feats of exploration. “Hey, look! That baby just climbed over that fence.”

They do their best to cultivate character and culture, sometimes without effect. A church teacher recently asked our 4-year-old for a song to sing. “Tonight’s gonna be a good night!” Thank you, Black Eyed Peas. May you always be eaten.

Even yet, the simplicity can be lightening. One Christmas, all one son asked for was a mouthpiece. The kind footballers and boxers and boys with three brothers use to protect their teeth. They’re a buck fifty at Wal-Mart.

Cheap and useful. Maybe those frontal lobes aren’t so undeveloped after all.

Kevin Thompson writes weekly for The Boerne Star in the Texas hill country. He can be reached at kevin@kwt.info.

1 Response to “Thank heaven for little boys”


  1. 1 jessestroup November 22, 2012 at 09:16

    Kevin, Boy article great. I laughed so hard that I had to wipe my eyes to finish reading it. YOU are a master at elevating your spouse! Thanks and delighted. Make Thanksgiving meaningful. Jesse 

    Sent via the Samsung Galaxy S™ II Skyrocket™, an AT&T 4G LTE smartphone.


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