How Boys Cuddle
That’s my youngest, tackling me when he heard the words”let’s cuddle”. Not exactly what I was thinking but I still got my cuddle fix in.
I have my own brood of little men, all under the age of 11. Though I only have three, DO NOT and I repeat do. not., underestimate the power of three little bored boys on a rainy day. It can be enough to send a mom to the looney bin. I’m joking but.. um, hmmm, kind of serious.
Seriously though, I love everything about them! Well, maybe not the nose picking and the never ending obsession with farts–not just doing it but also talking about it.
I love their rough edges, their easy to comb hair, their love for things that go vroom and crash, the way they smile at me from afar when they are unsure of themselves, all the hugs and kisses I’m showered with, and even their attraction to dirt and puddles. I love how they all wanted to marry me or call me princess and hot mama. It’s all kind of wonderful!
Understanding how our boys do things is crucial to our ability to better understand them and care for them. When we realize they are in so many ways different from us (women) our worries will begin to diminish and we will begin to appreciate the differences.
Little boys are active, aggressive, curious and I’m assure you can attest to their self-determination from the countless times they’ve thrown their veggies across the room at the mere sight of them.
Long gone are the days when you couldn’t get anything done because those chubby cheeks and sweet baby noises called your name. It was easy back then, well not really but I’m trying to make a point so let’s just go with it! Seriously, how can you not cuddle with this lil’ bundle of cuteness.
But then they go off and grow up and though they still fill your heart with love and wonder, it’s a little different.
Most little boys go through a stage where they demonstrate their love and affection in ways that involve tackling, wresting, pushing… In one of the many books about boys that I have read–Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys they describe the life of a boy through the following stages:
The Explorer (ages 2-4)
The Lover (ages 5-8)
The Individual (ages 9-12)
The Wanderer (ages 13-17)
The Warrior (ages 18-22)
I can’t wait to go through this book with you all, more details about this exciting news at the end of this post.
I say “most” because not all boys are alike but there are some general characteristics and traits that we can gather from them as a whole, to make pretty accurate generalized conclusions. For example, my oldest has always preferred to give hugs than to tackle you down–which always made for long play dates with aggressive boys, but that’s another story. Oddly enough he’s still up for a good wrestling match with his dad and brothers.
But then there’s my little “Explorer” who loves to tackle his brothers down in the name of love. Even though he recently turned 5, I still put him in the “Explorer” stage. He loves to tackle us from behind, I mean hug us, when we are sitting on the grass. This kind of “tackling” hugs from my explorer will just have to do for now, as long as I can keep hugging him.
Well, maybe I’ll need to put a halt to the “tackling” when he’s 6 feet tall and weighs 150 lbs. Actually, thanks to their daddies guidance they are quite gentle with me for the most part and don’t wrestle me down.
Then there are those times where they melt in the warmth of your arms and you wish you could etch that moment in your heart forever.
In this picture, I’m absolutely delighted to be cuddling with my 5 year old. This was a rare moment but he was so exhausted from traveling, not sleeping in his own bed and just having so much fun over Christmas break that he collapsed in my arms.
In Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak captures well the wildness and imagination of boys. Soon after being confirmed as king of the wild things, Max declares an edit to the beasts: “Let the wild rumpus start!” What ensues is a wild dance and frolic, including howling and swinging and prancing, reminiscent of a tribal war dance mixed with a punk-rock mosh pit.
Sounds like Sendak got it mostly right.
This brings me to my exciting news!
In February, I’m going to kick off a series called, “All Things Boys the Art of Mothering Little Men!” We’ll start it off with a book chat going through one of my favorite books (I quoted them above), Wild Things the Art of Nurturing Boys by Stephen James and David Thomas. I’ll get you the details later but for now the book chat will include: a blog post, a Facebook group and a video chat! It’s all free!