In Common

I am the oldest of three GIRLS. I like girly things. I have no trouble at all relating to my DAUGHTER. We can go shopping, watch a girly movie, do our nails, just hang out, whatever. It is no problem finding areas in which we can connect. It is natural to me because I am a girl who grew up with other girls.

Now, Ty, on the other hand is a BOY. And yes, I married a boy, but that doesn’t mean I know anything about how to raise one.

I mean, who knew that around fifth grade boys get emotional. This bursting into tears at the most random times I expected from my GIRL, not from my BOY!

All along I have tried to figure out how to find ways to connect with my son. I don’t really get into trucks, Legos, Star Wars, strange cartoons (Pokemon? The Last Airbender? The Clone Wars?), and all those other things that are “boy” for fun. But that isn’t an excuse to just not connect with my son.

I need to be able to have fun, create special memories, facilitate conversation, and get to know him for him, even though it is totally different from the way I can do it with Anne.

So, guess what? I have watched Star Wars (1-6) more than I ever dreamed possible, and spent just as many hours hearing the detail of every character involved as well as all about George Lucas (and now the sale to Disney and the upcoming movie). I have learned what Lego sets are acceptable and which ones are not. I have learned more than I ever cared to know about this thing called Minecraft. I have spent countless hours watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., even though it wouldn’t be my number one pick of television shows to watch. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I am choosing to find (and make) common places for my son and I to interact. Yes, there are some more natural ones that we both enjoy like riding bikes, but these common places are less about what I like, and more about what I can to do show my son that I want to spend time with him doing what he enjoys. I am even planning to take him indoor rock-climbing this fall, because that is something that he has been wanting to try. And let’s be honest, I work out a lot, but I am scared that I am going to make a fool of myself trying to climb a rock wall. But I am willing to give it a try if it means a day with my son doing something that he will enjoy.

Finding these common places with the child(ren) you don’t relate to as easily is hard. It takes work. It takes selflessness. But it is necessary and needed.

What are some ways that you have worked to relate to your child(ren)?

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