When it comes to being bossy, I’m woman enough to admit that I excel at that.
I call it “maintaining high expectations for those I care about to encourage and inspire success.”
But, you can call it bossy if you must.
Especially when it comes to awesome infusing my Dudes.
I just want to make sure that they are not only people I can be proud of, but people they are proud of too. Considerate, respectful, driven, compassionate, loyal, dependable, adventurous, confident, brave, fit, crazy handsome, outlandishly smart grown up people who can cook a slammin’ meal and throw their own socks in the hamper. I want them to be the kind of Dudes all of your daughters will want to marry, but can’t because they’re MIIIINE who can do and be whatever they put their minds to because they’re prepared for life and excited to embrace it. While also being witty and funny and well dressed and cool.
Basically like Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love AFTER he got past the whole player thing and fell in love with the really awesome chick.
We are working on our Dirty Dancing running-swan-dive-lift thing, we just need Dude 1 to get a teeeny bit stronger so he can lift me without losing feeling in his spine.
We’re on our way people, and this helps too…
Raising Boys: Things My Sons Must Do
Not bring your phones or *insert other electronic device* to the table. Not at home, not at a restaurant, not anywhere that food will be served and the family is present. Meals are for connecting. Even at a restaurant. And, even if you don’t feel like connecting you can sit there and stare at my face and pretend that you are. You most certainly can behave long enough to make it through a meal. And, no one cares if you’re bored.
Say please, thank you, and you’re welcome. Even to your friends. Especially to your brothers.
Take your shoes off when you come in the house. I’m not your slave. And YOUR CLEATS LEAVE MUD CHUNKS EVERYWHERE!
Shake hands like a man. None of this soft hand business. No left hand approaches. That’s nonsense. Make eye contact and go in strong.
Stay fresh. Moan and groan about putting on deodorant and the audacity of my rule that you not wear dirty socks all you want, I will win. And you will smell like a human being. One with a house and running water and soap and a perfectly functioning washing machine right there in the basement.
Think about the things you say to girls. Your words are just as powerful as your actions, because despite all of that nonsense about sticks and stones, words can actually hurt people. Especially when it comes to the opposite sex. I’m all about keeping it real, and I want you to always be honest about your feelings and true to yourself, but I also expect you to keep it kind. “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ”—Aesop
Be active. I spent years trying to cultivate a love for physical fitness, and I’m glad you all seem to be down with running and jumping and sweating for fun. I don’t care what you play, as long as you get out there.
Put school first. I mean, I keep you alive, all you have to do is focus.
Make eye contact when you talk to someone. It demonstrates confidence and eliminates weirdness. I’m a fan of zero weirdness.
Keep your word. Lying is for losers.
Love each other. Your brotherhood is the most precious gift I’ve ever given you. When there is no one else there will still be your brother, even if he is just standing there punching you in the back.
Give good hugs. Head up, arms around, squeeze. Like I do with you. (People who know me, probably don’t even believe that I know that because I am really pretty awkward about hugs. I don’t know where to put my arms. And do we do chest or no chest? But when it comes to my Dudes, I’m good: I tackle them and smother them with love while they pretend to hate it; all is right with the world).
Eat well. And by well I mostly just mean what I give you. Because I give you decent stuff. It’s the perfect mix of healthiness for life with a side of cookies for joy. So there’s to be none of this ew-green-beans-I-will-just-eat-rice-and-then-beg-for-cookies-later-nonsense going forward, we’re all better than that.
Love me best. No explanation needed, just do it and no one gets hurt.