I get stopped often while out with my boys. Especially if I am running an errand… waiting in line somewhere… or trying on clothes (yes I have taken all four of my boys into a dressing room area – now that they are older they wait outside my dressing room, but you get the idea). When people ask me “Are all these yours?” :) I often wonder if they think I am their nanny or sister… but when I respond “Yup, all 4.” Their response more times than not is “Bless your heart.”
For years my boys never really said anything when people would say this.
They were oblivious to the words of most strangers… and would just go on doing whatever boys do while out in public. :) Now that my older two are 8 and 10, they notice a lot more.
Caleb who is 10 often ask me “Why do people always say that?”
I then have to explain to him that people think 4 kids is a lot… which I guess it is… but even more so they believe that having four boys especially is unusually hard and crazy to deal with.
Boys are crazy.
… and a tad foolish at times (then again so are girls).
They are loud.
Love to wrestle.
Run, jump, climb.
… but one thing that my boys are as well, is very caring.
I never believed you had to teach boys to love or care… but I am learning as I grow and my children grow, that caring… is far more than just loving each other. Caring is something we teach our boys to do as well.
Teaching them to care for those around them.
To care for their friends.
To care for their home.
To care for and respect authority.
To care about what they say to each other and how that may affect the other person.
Having boys is so much more than reigning in the hyper activity and rowdy play.
I have seen first hand how amazingly caring boys can be… but I have also seen how disrespectful and uncaring children can be when not taught to care. When I became a mother I never realized the responsibility that was being set for me in raising children. I knew the obvious responsibility. Clothing, loving, feeding, education a child… but its far more.
Thankful for wisdom.
From elders/adults I look up to.
All of which have helped me to raise four boys who are growing up to be amazing young men.
They are young… and while society seems to expect so little from children at the age my kids are… and really on into the teen years. I expect a lot and I believe we don’t give our kids enough credit for how amazing they can be, even at age 8 and 10.
They have their fights.
Their spats over stupidness.
The uncontrollable silliness on a night off.
… but while the world may see “Bless her Heart“ as they see me with a line of boys behind me in a store… I’m thinking “They Bless my Heart” and I am so thankful I can actually go out to a store and enjoy them.
Do I want to grocery shop with them every week? Not really haha. They are children… and children can be distracting while shopping, even while well behaved. It is far easier to grocery shop without them… but if I had to go to the store weekly with all four of my boys, it would be absolutely doable.
Let them be children.
… but instill in them a desire to care.