Raising boys…

In South Africa we have the midyear school holidays at the moment. It is winter, and the school closes for 3 weeks. The South African academic year stretches from January till end of November. Our Summer holidays stretch over 6 weeks around Christmas.

This is the final week of the school holidays, on Monday it is back to school for the 3rd term.  We did not have the opportunity to go away as family this holiday, as I was on duty in the church.  This is one of the mildest winters we have experienced so far, maybe the Global Warming has finally reached us too. In these long holidays the children are getting really bored. They played a huge amount of Playstation, they watched DVD’s and Wimbledon. They have visited with friends, played tennis, and cycled around town a lot.

So when they complained that they are bored this morning, I really helped them out. We have this beautiful old cast iron garden bench that we bought as newlyweds- it was much cheaper than a lounge suite then! Although it resides on the front porch, it eventually also needed a new layer of varnish.  And so I commandeered my sons to do the job…

I showed them how, and then let them loose with brushes and varnish. And it became a valuable time between us.

When I was much younger, I was afraid of becoming the father of sons. I was afraid that I would not be able to raise them to become men of value to the community. A part of this fear is because I am not handy at all. Any DIY project is intensely difficult for me.  My father was much better at these things than me, but he always became so impatient that he chased me away when I was a boy, I never learned to do any of these DIY stuff.  Now I am the father of 3 boys.  The Lord truly has a sense of humor… 🙂

I am so glad for the Internet. When I want to do something DIY’ish I first have to Google it, hopefully to see how something is done on Youtube. Then I have to go to our hardware store, and try to explain what I am trying to accomplish. Do you know how difficult it is if you do not even know the right names for the tools/ varnish/ paints/ thinners needed to do a job? Extremely frustrating.  When all the stuff are bought, to try figuring out the sequence in which to apply all the gooey stuff on to the wood.  And in the same time trying to teach my young men how to do it in a patient and calm way, that they can have confidence: their dad is on top of this game…

So it is really tough to raise boys, teaching them the skills in life that will help them impress a young lady one day. To show that they are able to maintain her in a house that will not fall apart around her…

But we are having a lot of fun in the process, even though we used more than double the amount of Woodoc 50 Marine Varnish that we were supposed to. So maybe my sons will turn out OK when they are finishing their school career. Maybe they will be able to stand on their own two feet and make their own responsible choices in life.

Meanwhile, I am proud of the men that they are slowly growing up to be.


17 thoughts on “Raising boys…

  1. Daardie tyd met jou seuns deurbring is kosbaar!!!
    Net gister gewens ek was jonger, en het geld vir ‘n vakansieplaas vir kinders… met perde en al. Nou speel ouma maar vingerbord met die klomp op die erf.

  2. Dis ‘n busbankie daai! Ek wil nog altyd ‘n busbankie gehad het! Hierdie tye wat jou seuns saam met jou spandeer, gaan die tye wees wat hulle gaan treasure eendag as hulle groot en uit die huis is. Jy doen mooi 🙂

    • Het hom by ‘n tuinsentrum gekoop net toe ons nog pasgetroud was en niks gehad het om op te sit nie… Dis nogal ‘n internasionale bankie, ek het presies sulkes op die Camino raakgeloop in ‘n paar plekke.

  3. When my kids say they are bored the next words outta my mouth are “well I got something for you to do.” And then they get a chore, but seriously I believe the best ways to teach our children to work is by working with them.

  4. This mother of three boys sometimes feels left out when they bond with their father over warcraft strategies or talk about WW2 or when they discuss Nerfs or when they assemble their Legos. It is the time together with you that shapes them and shows them the proper attitude of responsible men. The skills can come later. Who knows DIY in the future might be easier than now?

    Besides, riders always make great dads. *biased* 🙂

  5. My husband is not Mr. Handy Man either but he and my son still have fun doing other stuff. I think it’s the presence that matters most. As long as a father spends quality time with his boys who cares about perfect wood work and all? 🙂 Great post!

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