My husband teaching our son how to 🧵 sew!
I always thought I would naturally be the one who teaches these “softer” skills while men in my son’s life would be the ones to pass on the hard ones. Wrong!
This is how we change outdated traditionalist beliefs that boys should not bother with skills like cooking, cleaning, making house or a cake or knowing how to comfort someone in distress.
Both my husband and I thought him simply by modeling that when someone is in pain, physical or one of the heart, we drop down and sit compassionately with each other. He now guides me through a meditation when I have a migraine…
“Mummy, would you like to go to the bottom of the ocean? It’s calm and quiet there and the pain just moves through the bubbles…”
That little phrase right there means so much! I am sure you would know the power of someone just being there for you when you are in pain…
These aren’t values shared in my family of origin. Grandmas cooked and cleaned and did the sewing and the mending of relationships and of wounds, and of souls. Patriarchs worked hard, with dedication, but also were so disconnected from themselves that the air around them was stiff. There was no connection, no emotion.
My father hid his tears even at the time of fighting terminal cancer, choking and deeply suffering from his inability to let us all know how much he loved us.
So here’s to radicalizing fatherhood. To all those amazing men who swiftly and with self-respect teach and model softness, compassion, tears, emotion … and sewing.
My son is about to turn 12. They re-stuffed his most precious teddy whom he still loves! Family members are rolling their eye about him still having this toy. “What a sissy”.” He should have thrown this rag forever ago!”
So it is up to us to stand up against this and FOR what messages we need to pass onto the next generation of men.
To the men who do not abuse – physically, emotionally, mentally, financially…to the men who do not hurt, manipulate, kill or smother not only their partners and children but their own inner Anima, their own inner world, their emotionality, their passions, their aches, their vulnerability. To the men who are comfortable with big feelings, soft skills, mushy time, cuddles and pink!
One teddy bear at a time.