Heart-to-Heart with Diane

Hello and Welcome! Isn't raising a family the greatest!? I know I've got the best job in the world, just being Mom! I love sharing things I've discovered that make being "Mom" better, easier or more fulfilling, and that is what this blog is all about. Welcome!

Monday, January 19, 2009

What's It Like to Be a Boy?

My son Ammon is a sensitive, intelligent boy who loves plants. He is a careful 17-year-old, and he has been working studiously on his budget. I noticed that his budget includes a monthly allowance for "breaking things". I was amused that he would list such an expenditure, but over the days since we talked about his budget, I have had a taste of what it would be like to be a teenage boy.

Not ripping your clothes is a constant challenge. Somehow barbed wire just jumps out at you when you walk by. Outreaching knobs and latches snag your clothes when you pass. Your pants end up with holes in them. Your buttons rip off when you wrestle.

Dishes slip out of your newly-large hands. Pictures on the wall just seem to slide off when you walk near them. Even ceiling moutned light fixtures are not safe from a boy's antics. Keeping a watch on your arm while doing boy things is always tricky. That is, if you don't lose it first.

Not breaking things is extra difficult. Yesterday alone included dropping a sharp object on the kitchen floor and denting it, and then dropping a stapler on the hardwood table and denting it. Perhaps it has to do with the need to do science experiments with every thing you handle. Last summer's breakage expenses included a truck window. Ammon was loading firewood onto the back of someone's truck as a service project, and accidentally jammed a log against the back of the cab window, shattering it. That was a pricey budget deduction. Last month, it was a broken bow to his violin. Whatever it is, breakage is a real and ongoing issue for boys!

My current theory is that teenage boys are kids in mens' bodies, and still trying to learn to handle and direct all the sudden and unexpected muscle power. They mean well, but things do break ever so easily when you are a teenage boy!

Mom, don't get too mad at your teenage or soon-to-be-teen boys. They really don't mean to break a thing. They really mean to be very sensitive and very careful. It is just all this strength unleashed . . . it is hard to keep it in good control! It feels like driving a car for the first time. These boys will soon be men and off on important duties. Enjoy now!

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  • At January 19, 2009 at 3:03 PM , Blogger Kelly said...

    Love this post Diane! I think I need this reminder daily. Yesterday it was sucking a sock up in the vacuum cleaner and then taking the bag out and trying to suck it back out. They mean well.
    Kelly Small

  • At January 19, 2009 at 7:59 PM , Blogger MDearing said...

    This makes so much sense! How cool that he was smart enough to include it in her budget! I will store this in my thoughts and pull it out in 10 years or so-but is sounds SO much like my brother growing up.

  • At January 20, 2009 at 4:58 AM , Blogger Karies place said...


    Thanks for stating those facts about boys in men's bodies. I have a 15 1/2 yr ds and you have just described him exactly. I will keep what you said in mind.


  • At January 22, 2009 at 5:23 AM , Blogger Levi said...

    What's funny is at 30, my husband, still has a running tally of what he broke in the month that needs replacing! On a positive note everyone around us will agree "he is a pretty handy guy to have around" mostly because when things get broke you learn real fast how to make repairs to save money! We have NEVER paid a mechanic, plumber, painter,or carpenter in 12yrs of marriage and 3 kids...and breaking things is never a big deal 'cus Dad does it too! Our 5 yr old son is following in daddy's footsteps... I'm sure he will be just as compitent as his daddy in terms of repairs...something needs to be broken in oreder to learn how to fix it or to appreciate it's value in replacing it!

  • At January 22, 2009 at 2:20 PM , Blogger Marci said...

    Somehow,I have to file this for that time when my two boys reach this age! Marci

  • At January 22, 2009 at 2:22 PM , Blogger Marci said...

    Lord willing,I will remember this when my sons reach this age! Though at 6 and 7 we already seem to have enough breakage!

  • At February 20, 2009 at 9:47 AM , Blogger Kate said...

    My youngest is 17. I've watched your children grow for the last 12 or 13 years through your catalog. Many years ago you talked about a homeschoolers club at BYU. My youngest is heading there in two months. Is the club still going? If you have time, could you contact me about this?

  • At March 16, 2009 at 2:42 PM , Blogger Laurie said...

    My oldest is just a few weeks shy of 13. As I read this, I found myself wiping away a tear and saying a prayer that I remember this when those accidents happen. The accidents I know are coming, the things that are part of growing up for a boy.


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