Momma, Want to See a Snake? How to Homeschool a Boy, Part 1
It was a beautiful spring day, and we spent most of it with doors open, happily going in and out with various tasks and projects. It was mid-afternoon when my youngest son came in. “Momma, do you want to see a big snake?” He was a teenager, so there weren’t as many of those moments as there used to be, but when they happened, I treasured them.
Does it matter if you go see the snake?
For all of you moms who are new at parenting boys, here’s a quick hint: The correct answer is, “Sure. What kind do you think he is?” If you’re an experienced homeschool mom, you’ll also know to suggest taking a photo or sketching materials so that Mr. Snake can be added to the kid’s nature notebook.
I quit whatever I was doing, and we walked out together to see the snake (most likely a black snake, according to my son’s description). By the time we got back to where he had been spotted, he was gone.
We ended up walking all the way around the woodland path, with dear son pausing to push down a few dead trees. (As a certified mom of boys, I know that the correct response for this is, “Where should I stand?” The wrong thing to say is “Be careful!”) A quick walk to view a snake turned into a nice opportunity to chat and reminisce about when the boys were younger. We both enjoyed seeing what was budding, as well as the unexpected conversation.
It’s not about the snake
Of course, some of you are excused from going to see Mr. Snake (if ships can be female, then snakes can be male). For example, if you’re in labor, you don’t need to go. If the house is on fire, the baby needs to be fed, someone is bleeding, or sirens are approaching for any other reason, you may ask for a few moments to deal with the distraction. Otherwise you can probably afford to take a moment to share your child’s interest in a wild creature.
I hate to tell you that being afraid of snakes is not a good reason to decline the invitation. The truth is, the effort you put into getting over (or suppressing) the vapors will be amply repaid by the continued growth and strengthening of your relationship with your child.
Each time an invitation is refused, there’s less likelihood that it will be repeated. That may sound good when you have several small ones who all want momma to “Look!” but trust me, in a few years you’ll be glad you shared those interests and are still a part of their life.
Love those sweet boys every single minute. You’ll be glad you did.
*Note: This series of posts is presented, not in a spirit of “I did it all right,” because no one knows better than I how many things I didn’t do right, but in a spirit of encouragement. I share them because I wish you joy. I also want to encourage you that you can take this opportunity to discipline your own irrational fears so that you won’t pass them on to your children. “For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of self-control.” II Timothy 1:7.
- How to Homeschool a Boy, Part I
- How to Homeschool a Boy, Part 2
- How to Homeschool a Boy, Part 3
- Learning Styles