February 25, 2014

The Minds of Boys. ~ Jenifer DeMattia


I’ve always loved the quote “Boys live adventures men only dream of. ”

Only recently, as my son quickly approaches age four, have I realized this may not be true. I came around the corner the other day and was surprised to look up and see my husband and our boy on the couch next to each other, each completely unaware of the other. One on his laptop and the other on the iPad, heads cocked in the same way, with an identically detached look on his face. 

Our son has recently started using the potty, and he’s all about going by himself, door shut and all. The only problem is that every time I go in after him, there is pee on the seat, and sometimes the floor, too. I realized after going in the bathroom after my husband, there was a similar scene. They both leave the room when the baby is crying, and they both sleep in a mid-jumping jack position. They even have a similar whine when they are sick or hurt. It’s quite eerie. They are very similar. Maybe, some men don’t truly ever grow up. Maybe some men are still living the adventure.

Our son, like most boys, is addicted to exploration. Every day offers something new. His favorite place to be is outside. In our back yard we have some large pine trees and we cut off some branches to create a little play area within them. Our son calls it “the cave.” He explores the cave daily.

His main fascination with the outdoors, however, is the moon. He loves to point out when you can still see the moon in the morning, sometimes even when the sun has already risen. He asks frequent questions about the moon. What is it? Can I touch it? I think he longs to have one of his adventures there.

The outdoors. Another thing they have in common, like the excitement on their faces when snow is falling. My mother-in-law told me soon after I began dating my husband that when he was young, he got so excited about snow he would run around the backyard in his underwear celebrating. Now, I can easily imagine our boy doing the same thing. I recently told my husband about my observations.

I asked him, “Do you still feel like a young boy sometimes?”

“No, not at all,” he responded, “That’s funny though.”

What a shame, I thought. All those years of telling him that he acts like a child during arguments. All those times I told him he acts like a baby when he’s sick. I may be willing to admit there is something quite charming about that. 

Perhaps underneath my annoyance at his behavior, which I used to refer to as childish, there may be a little bit of jealousy. Envy of his ability to hold on to the kid inside, because I’ll be damned if being a little boy doesn’t sound like one hell of an adventure. But no, he doesn’t see himself that way. He sees too much responsibility. Too much stress. Too much awareness of how screwed up the world can be.

The other night I woke up at two in the morning to a screaming baby. My husband was not in bed. As I walked the baby around looking for him, I quickly realized that he wasn’t in the house. I noticed the back door was unlocked and I peeked outside. It was snowing. My husband was up on our hill near the cave. I was witnessing him in the middle of an adventure. He was taking pictures. Pictures of trees, the sky, the moon. I guess what I have taken away from this is that if I want to remember what I love, I should probably look back to the beginning.

I wonder, though, if it would even compare to the wild adventures in the minds of boys.

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Editorial Assistant: Chrissy Tustison/Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Vernon Swanepoel/Flickr

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