Recently, I wrote an article for a Psychology journal on the emotional life of boys. The words were inspired by a pro basketball player, who by all accounts “has it all.” Apparently what he didn’t have was a sense of self that included peace. It’s hard because the playbook for boys starts early and is quite confusing with regards to how to be, how to feel, and what to do with all these emotions.
As my own sons have grown into men, I have made the effort to keep the beauty of innocence and the beginner’s mind in the frame of maturing. Sometimes it emerges in a sense of humor, a good-natured tease, and sometimes it’s an “I wonder…” or “I don’t know. What do you think?”
Each generation has to figure it out. I keep in mind that they have been blessed with the gift that will help them with this task. It resides in the source of the playful and creative that was once their entire being.
I often look back in my journals for different reasons. Sometimes it’s to find humor and other searches driven by “I wonder…” Recently, I came across the wonder of a very young boy trying to figure it out:
One day young Evan was staring at the ceiling. After a long muse, he turned to me and asked, “Dad, how come I can’t walk on the ceiling?”
Evan decided that “overalls” are not properly named. He referred to them as “lotta-pockets pants.”
One of our favorite children’s books is Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? One night we were reading it when Evan the editor picked up on something. As we read the page, “Boa Constrictor, Boa Constrictor, what do you hear?” Evan pointed to the snake and said, “No ears.”