Boys To Men


One of my pet peeves is seeing people be upset when boys are being, well, boys. I was a Cub Scout Leader for 13 years. I ran day camps for up to 300 eight, nine, and ten year old boys every summer for eight of those years. I loved every minute of it, even when I heard the same silly or gross joke for the umptheenth time, or had to separate to boys who were having their version of a pissing contest for dominance over the group. That was back when boys were in training to be men. Back before the marginalization of boys by the matriarchal society led by the progressive liberals and the out of step feminists, and it was no longer politically correct for boys to be boys.

My husband ran across this from PJTV. http://www.pjtv.com/series/war-on-men-how-masculinity-is-under-attack-in-america-832/boyhood-under-attack-why-boys-cant-just-be-boys-anymore-10924/

He pointed out that,” Today, Tom Sawyer would be in ADHD therapy, and Huck Finn would be in Juvenile Prison.” Today, boys aren’t allowed to ride bikes without helmets and protective gear. Had I tried to force that on my boys, they would have been outraged because I obviously thought they were too inept to ride a bike without hurting themselves. We, as a nation, have made it nearly impossible for boys to become men, living and growing from their natural inclinations and behavior that is embedded in their DNA.

Because boys are loud, dirty, smelly, and politically incorrect; because they run, make noise, climb, pick up gross things like worms, and they fight with each other our society of fearful mothers and fathers are trying to force boys to be something they are not. All of that is genetically part of being male and teaches them how to be hunters, fearless, curious, and innovative thinkers. It also establishes a pecking order that is vital in a hunter/gatherer community. Of which, we are still very much a part. We just hunt and gather different things today. (And the chief is your boss.) BUT all of that natural male inclination is politically incorrect in today’s matriarchal society in modern western countries.

So, to fit in, to keep from embarrassing their community or family, their NATURAL male instincts are cut from their lives, and they are forced into more feminine behavior, along with brain washing that being male is a bad thing. Enslaving the minds and bodies into unnatural behavior makes them act out more. The easiest way to control them is to label them with some sort of disability and drug it away. Along with being unable to just be kids, they ‘lesson and sport’ kids from the time they are five or less. No kid needs to be in ballet at three, no kid needs to be on a team at five. They first need to learn how to play and work together on their own, to create their own social group without helicopter mommy and daddy making sure their darling child is treated fairly. (That means better than others in PC lingo.) We do them no favors by removing them from the natural rhythm of play and forcing them into the unnatural world of competitive passive aggressive sports or lessons. All it does is place more stress in their already submerged and trampled maleness.

Playgrounds are no longer mayhem. No kids running around playing and yelling, no foot races, or natural male competition is allowed. Instead, everything is organized and ‘fair’ (gag) and no one learns to be a leader, problem solver, or how to create relationships. Everything is a passive aggressive competition since out right competition is forbidden as someone has to lose. Yep, we are making our boys weak, immature, and incapable of being men with all their natural abilities. That is how we end up with confused metrosexual guys who aren’t sure what they are, male/female/straight/gay or human.

By labeling everyone with a disability, the kids who really are having problems and really need help are pretty much marginalized and shoved to the back of the line. Besides, don’t you know it is the IN thing to have a kid with a disability? Everyone is trying to get that diagnosis so they have an excuse for why their kids, male or female, is out of control. Personally, I believe that most of those kids just need attention at home, and the occasional kick in the pants for bad behavior, oh, and taught some manners. Parents need to parent and stop being afraid of what the social group they hang out with will think.

And another thing, since I am already on a rant. We need to stop forcing our children to play together when they don’t like each other. If they don’t want to share their toys, especially with a kid they don’t like, stop making them. All it does is to teach them to be confused about their feelings, and to see themselves as the ‘mean or bad’ kid since they are being politically incorrect. I loathe hearing parents to tell their children to ‘play nice’ when they need to be telling them to have fun. As adults it is hard to deal with social situations with people we can’t stand, to force that on a child is beyond cruel.

Another reason so many boys are labeled disabled and on drugs is because it makes easier to control an over crowded classroom of 35 kids. If the kids are drugged, they aren’t a problem for the teachers who are free to teach regurgitative education for the purpose of state tests. There is no need to expect the kids to think, theorize, innovate, or invent, because they are too drugged up to care. Some teachers love that because that means they can meet the goals set out for them with less pressure from the powers that be.

So where does that leave us when they become teenagers who have been given powerful behavior altering medication for years? What happens when they become young men with the natural behavior of males totally squashed and unrealistic social behavior forced on them? It leaves many of them unable to cope with anything.

Aggression is frowned upon, although there is a constant need to prove themselves. Boys turning into men aren’t supposed to be gross and rowdy, they are supposed to be caring and emotional, you know, like girls. That isn’t to say they aren’t caring, but they do not go about it the same as a female. They think differently, and no amount of constant belittling of their maleness will make them think like a woman – they have hardwired DNA.

Where does that leave us? With kids who are used to being drugged up, and incapable of understanding how to cope with feelings and needs. So they self medicate with alcohol or other drugs. They act out in rage that they don’t understand because they have been told from birth that they cannot be angry. It is bad to be angry. To give into anger makes them a bad kid. Instead of having their entire childhood to learn how to cope with emotions and anger, they are taught to deny their feelings. Men, boys, males of all sorts need to have that challenge of other males. They need to have that opportunity to learn how to build a social group that works for them within the boundaries of being a guy among a bunch of other guys. They need that chance to be gross, smelly, dirty, and loud. They need to learn to be men by being boys first.

OK, off my soap box

Brown Eyed Boy


arron_6yrs“Well, hello little man,” The new mother said when she first held her baby boy. He looked at her with his big brown eyes and cried. She cuddled him close and told him not to cry because she would always hold her brown eyed boy in her arms.

“Look at you, you’re walking!” The mommy said as her brown eyed boy took his first steps across the room on his own. He looked at her and smiled a drooling smile as he took his first steps away from her.

“Hurry! We’re late! You don’t want to miss the bus on the first day of school” she said, as she rushed him out the door and down the street to the bus stop. The big yellow bus pulled up and he climbed on with all the other children in his neighborhood. His mommy stood on the curb and smiled at him as the bus moved away. He didn’t see her cry as her brown eyed boy took his first ride away from her.

“Here’s your uniform, you need to change so we can get to the meeting on time. Tonight, you get to move up from a Bear Cub to Webelos in scouting” his mother said, as she rushed from one task to another. When he walked across that bridge to move up to his next rank, she applauded and smiled while he grinned with pride at his accomplishment. He didn’t see her cry as her brown eyed boy took one more step toward the future.

“What have you done!” The mother whispered in a quiet voice, as he was rolled into the emergency room. “We won!” He shouted as they gave him medicine so they could set his collar bone. He didn’t see her cry as he drifted off. But he knew she was right there by his side. She prayed for her brown eyed boy.

“Where have you been!” His mother shouted at him when he stumbled in at daybreak. He knew she had been waiting up for him all night, afraid he wouldn’t come home, afraid he was hurt. “Mom, we were out night fishing. Don’t worry, I’m almost a teenager I can take care of myself. Then he wandered off to bed. He didn’t see his mom cry in relief he was fine, and in sorrow that her brown eyed was one step further away.

“What is this?” His mother asked. He knew she knew what it was as he tried to think of an excuse or a reason he had it in his room. “It’s just pot mom. It isn’t going to hurt me.” He said it with a tone of contempt for her. She threw it away, and he was punished, but it didn’t bother him ’cause he knew where to get more. She knew he knew, and when he left she cried at the dullness and sullenness in the brown eyes of her boy.

“Get Out!” His mother shouted in anger and frustration. “Live by our rules, or live somewhere else.” He grabbed his pack, threw on his boots, and stomped out of the house. He was tired of being treated like a kid, and he would show her that he didn’t need her at all. He didn’t hear the painful sobbing of his mother as her brown eyed boy walked away in rage.

“Mom! It’s a girl.” He sang down the phone in joy when his baby was born. He was overjoyed and so was she. When she got to the hospital, he hugged his mommy tight and whispered, “I never knew, I never knew, how much a parent loves their child until now.” He had tears in his eyes as he held his daughter in his arms. “Well, hello there, little angel baby.” She looked at him with wise brown eyes, and sighed with content.

“Hey Mom! Merry Christmas!” he shouted over the popping phone line! He was, he said, doing great. He had a great woman, a beautiful daughter, a good job, and that is really all a man needed to be happy. “Mom….. Mom…. I’m losing you. I love you,” he shouted just before the line dropped the call. He didn’t hear her say “I love you, too, or see her cry because he missed it, and she deeply missed her brown eyed boy.

“He’s dead! He’s dead!” came over the phone in the deepest part of the night. His mother and father rushed back home to find it was true. It was… it was – inexplicably painful, horrific in every moment of pain. She went to the morgue to identify him. When she started to leave him, she turned back, and gently closed his eyes. He didn’t see her cry as she walked away from him, knowing she wouldn’t see her brown eyed boy until she joined him on the other side one day.

“Nana, can I play my daddy video again?” Her little voice asked. “Of course,” and she put the video on.” She didn’t she her Nana cry as she walked down the hall, knowing her brown eyed girl was getting to know her daddy the only way she could. She didn’t see her smile as her Nana stood still and listened – remembering her brown eyed boy.

No Tech Christmas


It occurred to me, oh, several months ago, as I was organizing my Christmas list, that I wanted to give my grandchildren vintage toys. Well, remakes of vintage toys, the originals are far too pricey. I wanted them to have a Christmas where nothing they received from my husband and I needed a battery, cable, or plug in. It seems that we have overwhelmed our kids with things that beep, flash, talk, and require constant attention. It was time to get back to basics.

For my nine year old grandson, there were a set of stilts, modern and better made, but stilts, nonetheless. A honest to goodness wooden yoyo along with a trick book just like they had in the 1950’s, along with crazy straws, paddle balls, a board game, several joke books, and the Dangerous Book for Boys. I added a science project about gross things, and treats. Not one thing required any sort of power except boy power. He loved everything, and was working to master the yoyo when they went home.

For my six year old granddaughter, we got an art set. A real, honest to goodness set with everything from paints to pencils and everything to go with it. She is really into drawing and such. Several coloring books joined the set, along with lots and lots of paper. She also go the crazy straws and paddle balls, but girl stuff too, like a pair of shoes and an out fit. She got the Daring Book for Girls, that matched Nick’s for boys. And hair pretties along with a grooming kit. Nothing needed power other than the power of a girl. She was over the moon, and spent hours drawing.

And our little Addie? Her favorite toys is a small felt dolly I picked up for a buck at the dollar store. Who would have though!? We also got her a tent to play in, and to help corral her when we need to have our hands free for something. She loves that too, along with the drum, and soft toys she got. She was really having more fun with with the paper and boxes than anything.

It is easy to go on line and pick out things that beep and buzz for kids. It is much harder to think of the way their minds work and come up with innovative ways to entertain them. It is easy to let a machine entertain them, but it is, in my opinion, to encourage them to explore, invent, create, and study the world around them. Making them the center of the play, not the machine, will stretch their minds, help them create, and encourage exploration in all manners of topics.

Next year is going to be a challenge, but I am already doing research, and I expect something will come to mind. Like Jax and a jump rope for Bella, and some sort of cool science experiment for Nick. I’m thinking mad scientist, cool stuff. Addie will be easy, everything from toys to clothes . . . and boxes and paper.

I love being a Nana.

The Colours of Our World


The Colours of Our World
She painted the sky purple and the grass red. The flowers were streaks of pink on black; the house was crooked and orange with bright green swirls of smoke coming from the slanted chimney. The sun was a bright yellow circle with a smiling face painted in it, and the stick figures were dancing around the fanciful garden.
When the teacher bent to tell her that the grass should be green, the sky blue, and that the sun didn’t really have a face, the little girl looked at her and said, “Why not?” Being a grownup who believed in remaining firmly planted in reality, the teacher sputtered, “Because! That is how it really is!”
The little girl smiled winsomely at her teacher, and with all the wisdom of a five year old said, “Only if your old,” and happily applied another coat of purple to her sky. As she freely expressed her delight in the colours of her world, the little girl was teaching a lesson that would do all of us “grownups” good.
Sure, we all know reality. We are familiar with every shade of grass and sky. We have all the facts, figures, and knowledge accumulated through our lives. We are experts. In lock step, we move along our tunnel vision lives leaving behind the images of imagination to focus on the business of life. We base our very lives in the context of what is real. Or is it?
When was the last time you danced for the sheer joy of it? When was the last time you sang in the shower, or ate Jell-O out of the bowl straight from the refrigerator? When was the last time you took time to feel the texture of your favourite old sweater with your fingertips while your eyes were closed? When was the last time you caught rain drops on your tongue, or splashed in a mud puddle, or allowed yourself to be soaked to the skin in a sudden rain storm? How long ago was it that you last marched along humming a rousing rendition of a patriotic song? When did you stop seeing the magic in your life?
When we stop dreaming, when we stop seeing purple skies and red grass, when we stop yearning for magic in our lives – and finding it – when we forget that reality is what we make it, then we have forgotten the colours of our world.

Karron Combs
30 July, 2002

Childhood Memory


When I was a little girl, my sister, Carla, and I spent one year with my grandparents in Atoka County, Oklahoma. My grandparents still lived in the house they had built with their own hands when they got married. It was a two-room cabin with a lean to on the back for a kitchen. There was no running water, no indoor toilet, and the electricity hook ups would never have passed any inspection if they had bothered to come have a look. In the front room, where my grandparents also slept, was wood burning stove, a double bed with an old cast iron headboard, a dresser, and a small table on which the bulbous brown radio with the huge dial sat. My favourite piece of furniture in the whole house was the wooden rocking chair with the rope seat. All of the grandchildren would fight over sitting in that chair, until Granddad would look up from what ever he was working and say, in his quiet but firm voice, “Here now, y’all stop that fussin’.”

 I remember it was cold that winter, but we went off to school at Harmony School every morning on the big yellow school bus. Every day Grannie would get us up and we would dash from the cold North Bedroom into the front room to stand by the stove as we raced to get our clothes on before we froze to death. I was in first grade, and scared to death of making a mistake. Mrs. Graham was the teacher for grades one through three – all in the same room. She was at the school her entire career as a teacher, and still remembered us up until she died a few years ago. I think she remembered every student who ever walked into her classroom. She was the kind of teacher that I would desire to be if I taught children. I can still remember her looking over her glasses at me, smiling and saying, “Of course you can learn this word, it isn’t too hard to read.” And learn it I did because Mrs. Graham never accepted less than one’s best efforts.

 When school got out for the summer, Carla and I had to go to work with our grandparents. Grannie worked at a laundry that did washing for hotels and restaurants as well as regular folks. I remember the huge whiter than white sheets hanging on the seemingly endless clotheslines, the heat of the clothes press and the steam billowing up as the sheets and tablecloths were ironed every day. The laundry stood in an old building that seemed to be half tin and half falling down bricks. It smelled of starch, steam, water, and freshly aired cloth. The women chattered, laughed, shouted, and aimed an occasional swat at one of the multitude of little kids running around during the summer.

 Granddad worked at a garage as a mechanic. I love the smell of the place. I still get nostalgic when I step into an old fashioned garage that smells of grease and oil. Every morning the new tire smell battled with the odour of fresh brewed coffee strong enough to melt a spoon. I used to play in the office in an old wooden chair. If I did things just right I could get it to spin in great circles while rolling across the floor. In the afternoon, when it got hot and sticky, I could climb up into the cab of Granddad’s pickup and have a nap. He would always wake me up around three with a cold Nehi Grape Soda to refresh me.

 At lunch every day, without fail, Granddad and I would go pick up Grannie and Carla, and the four of us would stop at the little gas station near the Railroad Bridge to buy lunchmeat, bread, and drinks from their deli. Then we would drive out of town and find a place to stop on a dirt road to have our lunch. Granddad would park under a shade tree, near a creek if he could find one, and we would all climb into the back of the truck to have lunch. Nothing tastes better than a pickle loaf sandwich and a cold soda pop on a hot summer day. The memory of those afternoons seems to be imprinted on my heart. All of my senses were involved in those hours. The smell of dry dusty roads, the feel of the soft breeze, the whirr of grasshoppers in the tall weeds, birds squabbling in the trees, and the taste of ice cold soda pop on a parched tongue. All were brought together in a kolidascope of colours to satisfy even the most discerning artistic eyes. If Granddad was in a good mood, Carla and I would be allowed to sit in the back of the truck until we got to the highway. I know, now, that we didn’t go very fast, but it seemed to us we were flying down the road throwing up huge clouds of dust behind us.

 I rarely go back to Atoka County, it just isn’t the way I remember it. My grandfather passed away and Grannie moved to town. It is where my parent’s “people” are from, and I suppose it is really the only home I’ve ever really known as I’ve lived all over the world since then. But, always in my heart stands the memory of those cold winter days, boiling summer nights, and simple times.