Last Friday night, I was tucking Boy 3 in and he sat up in bed.
"Look at my back, Mom. I have, like, six cuts on it from the playground."
On Saturday, Boy 2 faced a great, fearsome commitment, and was torn between two decisions.
"Do you really want to do this?" I asked him.
"Yes," he told me.
"Then I know you can make it happen."
And he did.
Yesterday in the car, Boy 1 stuck his hand I my face.
"Look at my finger, Mom. It's all cut up. I have no idea how it happened."
These boys don't want band aids or pity. They aren't awaiting a trophy or a good word of wisdom from me.
Just see the wounds, Mom. See what is difficult, what hurts, my scars, and believe in me.
I am learning so much from these warrior boys.
I am learning what I can and can't do for them, what they do and don't need from me.
I stand beside the fertile ground of future manhood, and I see the seeds of our relationship growing into their future understanding of what a woman who loves them should and shouldn't be.
She shouldn't baby their wounds.
She shouldn't coddle their fears.
She shouldn't stop their attempts to climb a little higher than seems safe.
She should look at their wounds and be awestruck at their courage.
She should believe in them when they strike out and let them wink at her when they cross home plate.
She should let a few tears fall, and wait for their brave hearts to rally a bit before she tells them she wants to see them try again.
She should see their failures, affirm their talents, and glory in their victories.
These boys of ours will be men someday, and they will want to be giant-slayers, mighty men of valor, and brilliant world-changers. They will need to marry women who believe they are all that and more.
Because that is who God has made all our boys to be. But they will settle for less if we don't see who they really are and believe in who they're becoming.
Look. See. Believe. Cheer. Cultivate greatness.
God is raising up a generation of warriors, may His grace be upon us to mother them well.