Ahh...boys. For as long as I can remember I have taken my boys on "date"nights once a month. I began this ritual because it was a way of spending quality time with each of them. But it was also part of a master scheme. Muahaha.
You see...until I was fourteen years old I grew up without a father. My grandfather was the only male influence in my life. From a very young age he began taking me on dates. He would open doors, pull out chairs, and even walk on the outside of the sidewalk on our evening strolls. When I would ask him about it, feeling bemused, he explained to me that it was his way of protecting me. As a girl, I often felt like he was a bit old fashioned...especially when he would caution me about how the mind of a teenage boy worked and especially when he would make me wait inside the house while the boys picking me up impatiently honked their horns waiting for me to meet them at their cars. They clearly didn't get the memo on how to properly pick up a young lady. I was one horrified 15 year old girl! But in doing this he taught me how a lady should be treated and I learned from a very young age that I was of worth and deserved to be respected by potential suitors (his words, not mine).
So back to said master scheme. These date nights with my boy's have given me some of the best memories of my life. Our dates were as simple as an evening at the park playing football, bowling, or letting them cut class to see the newest Harry Potter movie that came out that day. I do not promote school skipping. It is wrong. Very wrong indeed (she said sheepishly). However, the few hours of school they missed would probably have been forgotten the next day. They will always remember watching Harry Potter with their mom. On our dates my boys have learned to open doors and pull out chairs, but we have also had open conversation about sex versus love, about the minds and hearts of women, and how to treat all women...not just the ones they're trying to impress.
My boys are growing up. Chancellor is fourteen and Sebastian is 20! The times we are able to spend together are getting harder and harder to come by. Sebastian no longer lives with us and Chancellor is busy with various sports (and by various I mean four at once) and hanging with his friends.
Last night was a rare night where I got spend the evening with both of them. We had so much fun just chillin' and goofing around. Seb and I were entertaining ourselves by embarrassing his little brother because at his age everything embarrasses him. Why not make the most of it? I am unapologetic on this one.
Late last night I was reminiscing about the day and my boys' lives and I began to wonder. Did I do a good job? Did I teach them enough about love and life and the importance of relationships...with God, and family, and their future wives? They are great boys. Even when they occasionally walk through a door and let it close on me...true story. I have to trust that one day they will be the men I raised when it truly counts.
The small, yet immeasurable acts of my grandfather have shaped me into the woman I am today. I am a lady. I respect myself. I expect nothing less from any "potential suitor." I often wonder about the woman I could have become without his influence on my life. Will my boys be shaped by small, yet immeasurable acts or will society have it's say? What a scary thought.
My boys have brought love and chaos and joy and heartache and patience and grey hair and did I mention love? It has been a roller coaster with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. A girl could get dizzy just thinking about it. However...
Raising gentlemen...I wouldn't trade it for the world.