Open Thread: Things Boys Discover

Boys explore the world and test limits differently. What truths did you discover as a boy?

Some of the magic in a boy’s life is palpable. Life’s discoveries, from a boy’s perspective, are frequently gender-unique. My ex-wife would watch our son doing those “uniquely boy things,” and shake her head claiming “you never see girls doing things like that.”

I often think-back on those days of “unique” … okay, “stupid” things we boys did. I still have pains and scars from some very old discoveries. I would not trade those memories for the world, but looking back, I have to wonder, “What in God’s name were we thinking?”

At a website for male survivors of child abuse, we started a list of those “things boys discover.” We found it to be a powerful and positive connection to boyhood. Here are a few.

  1. The design of boys’ bikes truly is masochistic.
  2. Sometimes when the mean old dude across town yells “I know your father,” he really does.
  3. Home construction sites have everything you need for building a tree house and other stuff.
  4. A 2×10, a concrete block, a boy’s bike and a long, clear stretch of pavement is all it takes to demonstrate that you, too, can do what Evil Knievel does.

What are some of the truths you learned as a boy?


Read more on Families.

Image of cute little male child courtesy of Shutterstock

About Robert Brown

Rob is a Child Rights Activist and state-level lobbyist.


  1. Sometimes if you like a girl who’s not noticing you; you move on…
    And you see her 30 years later and she tells you about the crush she had on you….
    And now she is a movie star….
    And you are surprised she even remembers you….

    • OMG!!!! Crying for you on that one!

    • Yeah well this thread is 10x more about being a man than the BJ entrepreneur’s plug…
      That you can hear bones break.
      That it is colder than you can imagine when you fall through the ice ( as a man you can say “but not as cold as a woman’s heart”)
      That boots will catch fire even if soaking wet.
      That a bicycle tire can be overfilled.
      That siphoning gas is an art.
      That rat traps sting a lot more than mouse traps.

  2. Sometimes, if you like a girl who’s not noticing you; you can say things that exasperate her…then she might hit you. And then HEY…at least she’s touching you.

    When you point-out to her that “at least yer touching me…,” She’ll hit you again. Yeah…

  3. If shaking up a soda bottle causes it to fizz, REALLY shaking it up will be very cool.

  4. Gabriel Orgrease says:

    Pull the knife out of your foot quickly.
    Older kids are not smarter when it comes to dropping rocks on your head.
    She really really did not want to see that.
    If you hang upside down hold on tight with your legs.
    Don’t tell your mother that you know how to sew.
    Rubbing two sticks is OK, but matches are a hell of a lot easier.
    Think twice before you drink creek water.
    Tree houses need to be more sturdy than to fall on you out of the sky.
    Don’t step on rusty nails when deconstructing outhouses.
    If hornets come out of the steel pipe then don’t look in it.

  5. That you stand with the wind at your back when you piss on a campfire.
    That it is best to just pull band aids off quickly.
    That you all can’t outrun guard dogs- but it is best if you can outrun at least some of your buddies.
    That M80s really do anger wasps- both the insect and Episcopal types.
    That wasp bomb is flammable- as hell.
    That a flounder caught with a worm you dug cooked on a fire you made is the best meal you will ever eat- even if it was caught off the beach in front of the sewage treatment plant and 150 yds from where Jacobsen’s blasts the lead paint off of boats.

  6. When your mom says she can hear EVERYTHING, she really can.

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