Monday, April 18, 2011

A Good Man is Hard to Find.

As I primped in the mirror I was unaware that I had an audience. Dipping the mascara wand and feathering the make up onto my eyelashes, I felt a gentle tug on my skirt. Koen had been on the couch, immersed in a Richard Scarry book when I began applying my make up in an antique mirror in the living room. I looked down to see my sweet two year old boy gazing up at me. He studied my face that was adorned with eyeshadow and lipstick and exclaimed "Make up mama, I like it, pretty."

I had had pink eye for a week and had been unable to wear make up while my eye sweltered and weeped. I had never been so happy to put on a little eyeshadow, without it I feel like I might look like Napolean Dynamite. Anyway, back to my sweet two year old, we shared such a tender moment as he noticed that I finally had taken pity on the world and put on make up. He seems to be mesmerized by the feminine parts of me. He studies my red toe nail polish and calls my toes lollipops. I can tell that it takes some major self control for him not to just go ahead and lick them as they must look like bright cherry flavored treats.

A few years ago, when Griffin was just four years old, he sprawled out on my bed and watched as I got ready to go out for girls' night. I scanned my closet, holding up potential outfits as he played with Stars Wars Action figures and watched me out of the corner of his eye. I put on an outfit and studied myself in the mirror. Turning to him I asked..."How do I look?" half joking because what woman would entrust her wardrobe decisions on the opinion of a four year old boy? I was taken aback by his response. "How do you feel, mom?" he asked earnestly. "I feel great" I said with a smile. "Well, then, ya look great." I was floored.

It makes my mind wander into the future, when they are grown men. I wonder what type of men these boys will become. I try to instill in them a sense of chivalry. Griffin jumps to open the door for just about anyone and you should see the old ladies swoon when he does. He knows to offer his seat to a girl if all the seats are taken as we wait at the doctor's office. These are the actions that I can teach them to make them both be gentlemen one day.

Yet, there are things that you just can't teach, like sensitivity and the gift of being perceptive. As I gazed down at Koen and he admired my make up, I saw him in the future. Perhaps he will be the type of husband who admires his wife as she primps in the mirror. Maybe Griffin will sit patiently as his wife tries on outfit after outfit and tell her that she looks beautiful in every single one. Maybe these early identifications that they have with me as the first woman in their lives will influence how they view women forever. It makes me want to stand up taller. It makes me want to take pride in myself.

Of course, they need to see some grit on a woman too because no woman is perfect. Sometimes I just give up on shaving my legs. Koen will touch my legs and say "Prickly mommy." Sometimes, I walk outside barefoot and come in the house with filthy feet. "Dirty mommy" he will say as he studies my feet. Between lollipop toenails and red clay covered heels, I hope that I can live up to all the beauty and imperfections that dwell within a woman.

I hope that being the woman that I am
will bring a few good men into this world.


The Costello Family said...

Super-sweet sentiments. Got 4 boys here!

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Leigh, this struck a chord with me. I think about these sorts of things all the time now with Oliver. And I like what you said about showing them that no woman is perfect--that's a an important lesson for them!

Koen is such a cool little guy. It warms my heart to hear what a kindhearted person he is!

I loved this post.

vanilla said...

Got all sober this morning. Nicely done; and I'm sure your boys will become fine men.

Sue said...

I really enjoyed reading this, and I hope I had something to do with my married son's having become a wonderful husband. (I know his dad had a LOT to do with it!)

Lovely post.


Dixie Mom said...

And I hope my girls find great men like the one's you are raising!

singedwingangel said...

Now if we could only get every parent and ad agency to think like you do. What a wonderful world this would be for everyone.

Melissa said...

I have a little boy and this brought a tear to my eye.

KatieSue said...

I loved this post :) I have a 3 year old son and am so amazed how thoughtfull & sweet he can be...don't get me wrong, he is 3, so there are plenty meltdowns in between...Sounds like you're doing a great job to me!

Mindy said...

I loved this post! I have one girl and I'm about to have my second boy. I want these same things for my boys as well. I especially love the "how does it make you feel?" comment! My 2 year-old likes to mimic putting on make up and put on his sister's shoes and I think it is incredibly sweet. He admires the women in his life and wants to emulate them, which I think is an amazing compliment!

R Montalban said...

I loved reading this post today, it made me happy and I am going to go and give myself some lollipop toes :-)

I know I have said this before, but I will say it again, you are fabulous

Linda D. said...

I think you are teaching your boys to see the world through the same quirky yet beautiful lens with which you write your blog. Straight from the heart.. those two boys and their momma.