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“Queens Raise Kings”
posted March 11, 2009
GUEST COLUMN – The 21st century family
structure is more complex and diverse than anyone could have ever
imagined. The standard image of mom, dad and 2.25 kids is fleeting and
nearly non-existent. Instead, the more common image is that of 2.25
parents for every family. Step-parents, live-in “friends” of single
parents, grandparents serving as parents, foster parents, uncle daddy,
auntie momma and 17-year old high school students who live on their own
all contribute to the varied visualization that we know today as “The
Earlier Young World columns have made mention of the value of the
family. The most recent articles particularly focused on dad’s role in
child development; but what about the scenarios where dad is invisible,
unavailable or absolutely unworthy? Whether he is in the house or out
of the picture, an absentee father necessitates a super-strong mother.
Of great concern in this picture is the little boy who must now learn
how to be a man from his mother. Many will say that “A woman can’t
teach a boy to be a man”, and I agree. That however, is a very
different statement from “a woman can’t raise a boy to be a man”. I
believe the latter to be absolutely false. As a matter of fact, I
personally contradict that statement.
I am the product of a single-parent household. My brother, sister and I
were raised by my mother who worked rotating shifts in a manufacturing
environment to keep us fed, warm and clothed. I dare not say that our
life was easy or that we were well-off. As a matter of fact, quite the
opposite was true. We lived as minimally as possible, but there was
always love. In all honesty, it is in retrospect (looking back at my
youth) that I realize how little we actually had. I guess I was blessed
in that I was poor and didn’t really know it.
I thank my mother for that. My father’s absence did not mean that there
was a lack of discipline. My mother didn’t go out of her way to give us
material things out of guilt that dad was not in the house. But there
again, this was over 30 years ago. Today’s single mothers work hard to
shower kids with material things; designer clothes, $120 sneakers,
video games, expensive cell phones and music devices.
My question is, “Why?” Mom, what is it you hope to teach your son by
giving him all that he asks for, despite the sacrifice you have to make
when he is willing to sacrifice nothing? Son, do you for a moment think
about what your mother endures to provide for you?
It is every mother’s dream to raise a son who achieves great things and
brings honor to his family name. By the same token, it is every son’s
dream to make his mother burst with pride at the accomplishments of her
baby boy. One quick glance can easily confirm this.
Mothers scrutinize and interrogate young ladies before giving the
“thumbs up” or “thumbs down” about any type of relationship with their
sons; we won’t even get into the exercises necessary to be considered
as a daughter-in-law. Sideline cameras and post-game interviews record
millions of sound bytes from men and boys who give “shout outs” to
momma during the big game or after a good competition.
Mothers wield an unexplainable captivity over their little boys,
similar to the unexplainable relationship between the moon and the
ocean. They are connected by unseen ties. Over time, those ties become
stronger or weaker based on the severity of the pull in opposite
directions. Moms may develop stronger relationships with careers,
deeper bonds with new husbands, become more emotionally attached to
friends or other children. Sons may be drawn into sports, new social
circles, teen scenes (where parents aren’t invited) or relationships.
Any one of these pulls on either end can upset the lunar/emotional
balance between mother and son. Family chaos is certain when any number
of these distractions occur simultaneously.
I acknowledge all that mothers (single, married or other) do in the
development of dependent little boys into strong confident men. And, to
the “SuperMom” trying to be both father and mother, I invite you to
take off your cape. Your motherly instincts will let you know when
& who to turn to for help in raising your son. It is okay to rule
your house with an iron fist, but only IF you also rule with a heart as
big as Texas. If you desire to raise your young prince to be a great
king, you must first be the Queen of your home – not just by title, but
by the respect your very presence commands. Live with honor, work with
pride, love with all of your heart. Show your son what each of these
character traits mean. Explain it so that it is abundantly clear. And
if at any time he forgets what they mean, he needs only to look at the
way you live your life as a reminder.
To the young man reading this article hoping that one day dad is going
to come back home, I urge you not to look through your mom while you’re
looking at the front door. There most certainly are things that your
mother can help you through if you only trust her. And, as much as he
pretends to know, dad will never be able to help you understand how
women think. The bible tells children to “Honor their mother and father
that your days may be long upon the earth”. The “long days” involves
more than physical days of life, but also the legacy you leave behind.
The court jester is only worthy of discussion while he is entertaining.
However, the young prince who becomes a great King leaves much to be
spoken of. Son, hear your mothers words, know her expectations for you
and work to never disappoint her.
Langston Hughes’ words in the poem “Mother To Son” always seem to leap
off the page at me because it feels like he was writing about me years
before my birth. I need only to look within myself and think back from
whence I have come to realize that I owe my mother a HUGE debt of
gratitude and never-ending hugs & kisses. I thank her daily in my
prayers, but probably not often enough with my mouth. I think
I’ll call her now to tell her I that I Love Her!
Be Young! Have Fun!
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