It’s 6:35 am at my house, and it’s quiet. It’s one of the rare moments of the day where it is quiet, really.
For I have two little men and when they wake, the whole world around them wakes. Nothing in their bones likes to be quiet or restful. When they wake, they are full force and they are often loud. They scream with excitement. They raise voices in arguments with one another. They gallop through the house and laugh thunderous laughs as they chase each other with swords. They run across the house shrieking as their dad emerges with his “Paco the Wrestler” mask on his face.
In so much of what they do, there is noise. Lots of it and at high volumes. You can feel the high energy swarming around in the house. Being a lady, I wasn’t sure I was okay with this for a really long time. I had discovered that I was really quite fond of the quiet and calm and the introvert inside of me has a little bit of n inner meltdown-fit every time it gets too chaotic and loud up in here.
I tried to make them be quieter in the house, rambling off those nonsensical phrases like “inside voices please!” which would last a total of about 2.4 seconds. I tried to get them to stay in the playroom because I like my house nice and orderly and didn’t want their crap spilling out all over my tidied living spaces. I tried to tell them they couldn’t bring sticks and rocks and bugs and frogs in my house. I tried to take away the swords and the guns and crossed my fingers for less arguments and fighting between the two of them. You know what those boys did? They made a sword from a small scrap piece of wood. And they formed a gun from legos.
And then, one day I realized: I need to stop. I need to stop trying to control the volume in my house. I need to stop trying to control their environment and toys so that they aren’t fighting and having battles. I need to stop trying to contain the mess of them having fun and exploring and experimenting and collecting. I need to let them be little. Little men, to be exact… which is oh so different than I was as a little girl. It’s something I don’t know much about and am still learning. Thankfully, I have one of those Big Men in the house too. While I’m on the verge of an inner meltdown because of all the rambunctious play, he is able to put his hand on mine, look me in the eye and say, “Honey. It’s okay. They’re being boys. Let them wrestle. Let them be pirates. Let them be hunters stalking a black bear.”
No, this isn’t to say we let our boys run wild and rambunctious in stores or restaurants simply for the sake of “being boys”. But within our own home and our own walls, they need some more freedom. Freedom to play. Freedom to enjoy wrestling with their brother. Freedom to whoop and holler like they’re leading an army of men. Freedom from the small and quiet confines that their mother often would like to put them in for the sake of her own peace. Freedom to be little men. Little men that are brave enough to fight a battle. Little men that are loud and celebratory when they have won. Little men that get their hands dirty and make messes because they’re working hard on their task. Little men that are skillful fly hunters for our home, even if that means nerf bullets scattered all over my once-tidied living room. Little men that just want to be allowed to use the screw driver to be able to tinker with their toys and learn to “fix things”. Little men that are just trying to figure out how to grow up into big men.
I want them to be great big men (and I’m sure thankful for the few great big men that they have in their lives showing them the way), so it’s time mama steps out of their way and let’s them be.
Because when they’ve had opportunity to be loud and victorious warriors, they always always come back to being cuddly little boys who love their mama fiercely. Boys who will just suddenly stop their play and say, “Mama. I don’t want to do anything but cuddle you right now.” Who will stand up to daddy and tell him to be nice to their Mama if they think that he’s not. Who will do anything to help their baby sister or make her happy. Who will get on the floor on her level and make baby voices and faces at her simply because it gets her to smile or laugh at them. Who are growing up to be strong, courageous men with the kindest hearts. And that’s exactly who I want them to be.
Ezekiel & Asher, I can guarantee that I won’t always do well at letting you be little men. But I have daddy helping me and I’m going to try harder. I’ll try harder to put you and how you are learning to be, ahead of me and my desire for a calm and quiet house without so much as one lego on the floor. I know one day I’ll have that quiet, clean house and by then, I’ll really miss this loud and crazy time because it’ll be too quiet and too calm. So I’m going to try better to just soak it up and enjoy watching you develop and grow.
I love you both, you crazy, fearless, adventurous, hard-working, kind-hearted little men! :)
Brave little men, butchering chickens.
A snapshot of the loud crazy that happens on the daily around here: