The phrase “boys will be boys” has been a part of my vernacular for as long as I can remember.
A boy pulling hair in elementary school? Boys will be boys.
A boy snapping a bra strap in middle school? Boys will be boys.
A boy refusing to let a girl play on their team in P.E. in junior high? Boys will be boys.
A boy spreading false rumors about a girl in high school? Boy will be boys.
A boy standing my friend up and posting pictures of a different date? Boys will be boys.
To be honest, I always ignored it. It was the path of least resistance.
Did I like everything they did? No.
Did I believe that everything could be excused by “boys will be boys”? No.
Then I had a little boy of my own. And then another. For the first few years, the phrase was blessedly absent. Then I started to hear it now and then. At daycare, when one of them misbehaved. In random comments from random people. It’s become more frequent as they’ve grown into little boys.
I’m putting my foot down.
Yes. My boys will be boys.
They will be boys get dirty and play rough. Who will learn how to win and lose in sports. Who can fight with one another one minute and be the best of friends the next.
They will be boys who are compassionate. Who speak up for others (boys and girls). Who value the opinions of every kind of person. Who listen to others. Who understand that no means no and yes means yes.
They will be boys who are respectful. Who give grace to people who may not deserve it. Who defend the vulnerable.
It won’t always be easy guiding them as they continue to grow and have more independence. I know I’m not fully prepared for every situation they will throw at me. And that’s alright. It’s part of the roller coaster of life.
But, I’m their mom.
And I’ll be damned if they grow up with the line “boys will be boys” echoing in their minds as an excuse for bad behavior.
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