Thursday, October 4, 2012

4th Day of Empty Nesting...Boys

I used to have two boys in my house.  I still have two boys, only now I have two men.  And they are no longer in my house.

A few days ago, when I was visiting at my daughter's house, she came home from grocery shopping.  At my house grocery shopping means I pull up in the driveway and start unloading, but what happened at her house, and what used to happen at my house, was that here came her 13yo big boy through the door with about half a dozen bags hanging from his hands, which made me think "hmmmm....everybody ought to have a boy or two around the house."

That put me in mind of one of my own big little boys.  He wasn't such a big boy then, younger even than the current 13yo grandson, but he was big enough to raise pigs and feed chickens and hunt turkeys and kill mice and haul firewood.

We had been reading through a book together, one of those old-fashioned readers full of short stories, every one of which had a moral.  The moral of one particular story seemed to be that everyone should have a boy around the house.  It talked about the general usefulness of boys back in a day when children were actually contributing members of the family, unlike today when children's main purpose seems to be being entertained.  My boy and I talked about all the ways he helped on the farm, and how necessary his help was.

Society already saw children as liabilities rather than assets, but on the farm there is a different way of looking at things.  He was a farm boy, but he knew how town boys lived, and he was torn between being flattered about his usefulness and lamenting about how much work life requires from givers vs how much fun life offers to takers.

Now it's all behind us.  We are no longer on the farm.  He no longer does farm chores, but he knows how to work and he is not afraid to get his hands dirty.  He is very much a working, contributing, productive member of society.

Me...I am home alone in town, doing my own chores and bringing in my own groceries.

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