Frequently as a mom I soar up into the stratosphere of knowing all and then I plummet into knowing nothing at all about parenting boys.

I was telling a friend about my oldest son who is 20 and has gone off and made many decisions over the past year or two that I didn’t see coming. Now my 18 year old is experimenting with sapphire blue hair. Meanwhile the 16 year old is doing his darndest to be the best version of himself he can be. I explained to my friend that some of the choices the older boys were making were not how I raised them to be. Her response was “didn’t you?’

“Umm no. I raised them to make other choices, more straight laced looking choices.”

She still disagrees. She explained that I have raised my boys to be who they want to be, I’ve raised them with courage to be different. With artistic gifts that I praised that allows them to branch out and explore their creativity.

It’s my feeling that hair is just hair. Mostly I have always cut my boys hair in a classic boy cut, a style that looks good on them. Ok except for the year or two I thought I could cut hair and those weren’t very classic, and contrary to my oldest sons memory I did not knick his ear with hair scissors once. But once when my oldest was in the last week of 7th grade he really wanted a faux hawk and I let him. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was the last week of school and it’s hair. It grows back. My other son loves his long blue hair. I personally think it looks a little like a My Little Pony mane and I want to braid it.  I know eventually it will fade, turn green and we can have it changed back to blonde.

My 3rd son is a level 10 gymnast at the age of 16. Some boys on his team quit a few years ago because they were teased for being gymnast. This has never bothered my son, I don’t know why. But he is strong and talented and has his own level of courage to be himself.

Isn’t this one of the most important things we can teach our boys? To be true to themselves. In a world that wants to change the way they act with drugs, shaming and fear. Hug your boys and let them spread their wings. There isn’t a one mold fits all in life. We need the doctors, soldiers, artists, dentists, garbage men, we need all of them. So love them, I wish I could go back and love mine more, to be less afraid of what teachers thought or strangers in grocery stores. I don’t remember teaching them to express themselves with tattoos, earnings or blue hair. And I hope some of that is temporary expressions of self, but I love them. Just as they are.

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