Maybe it is because my middle son turned 13 this week or maybe it is because I feel like I am coming across more men who seem to be carrying anger that they never let go of or maybe because childhood feels so fleeting and adulting can feel so heavy or maybe it is all of it but I am feeling that we all may need to try to remember to hug our sons a bit more often for a whole lot longer.
And please know that I am not implying that we should not hug our daughters, not at all. I am a girl power girl and am all in on empowering our daughters to stand on their own heels. But I do think we need to do better to spread the love and attention across the board to both genders.
There are of course so many exceptions to this but as a whole, as much as we should build the armor in our girls, we should try to disarm it from our boys.
Girls curl into us. They talk about what is wrong. They hug. They open. They release. They move forward, lighter. Boys carry. They don’t always speak up. They hold in. They clench. They move forward, carrying greater weight. They are taught that they have to appear strong.
Whether we mean to as a society or not, the boys are becoming men that speak boldly and confidently but not always about their struggles and their truths. The girls are becoming women that have been taught to speak their struggles and their truths, but not always boldly or confidently. All of their lives we need to encourage them all that we can help carry their truths and that their words are important, at any age.
I am not claiming to have all of the answers or frankly barely any answers at all. But do I think the world would be better if we as adults listened more? Yes I do. And to all of the men out there that are acting like bullies, would their lives be different if there were people to hug them and ask them about their day when they walked in the door? Yes I do. Do I think that we would all benefit from more affection and less anger? Absolutely yes.
One thing I love about school conferences is the reminder of how hard our children work every day. We take it for granted because we have to put our own fires out all day long, we forget that they have to carry their own extinguishers too. Some fires seem so small that we think they are insignificant. But if we aren’t there to hear about and give them the tools to put them out, what if they don’t tell us about the bigger fires? What if those are the ones that they never put out and they bury those ashes within them into adulthood? What they are the flames that keep them up at night or worse, keep them from ever really living?
We all play a role in making sure kids grow up to be good humans.
Hug those boys. Ask them about their days. Listen to their words. Have them give their worries to you and hug them again. Maybe it won’t change the world overnight.
But it is a start.
Katie has a book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.