Monday, September 24, 2012

Because little boys become men….

I grew up in a house of all girls mostly. My mom, my sister, me, even our dog was a girl…my dad being the lone male. But even though my day-to-day was mostly filled with makeup and clothes, rom-coms, nail polish and all things girly, I learned from my dad what boys are supposed to be like. 

About a month ago…I was riding down the elevator leaving for work. My elevator partner happened to be a stout little black-haired boy, slightly tilted forward under the weight of a too-heavy backpack, around the age of 10. As we reached ground level and the elevator doors parted, he bolted from the back corner, past me and out the doors.

I smiled at his eagerness to get to the bus stop (school had just started that week) and I’m sure he was excited to see his classmates and friends. And then I thought of my dad. And imagining what he would say if he had been there. I imagined my dad probably would have knelt down to the boys level and said in a friendly tone with a pat on the back “hey buddy, when you’re in an elevator with a girl or a woman, what you want to do is wait and let them walk out first. As men we always let the ladies go first.” I’ve seen nearly this exact scene played out before. Then he might make some small talk about football or school and instantly he’d have another little 10-year old friend. Kids love my dad. High schoolers love my dad. He’s one of those very rare people that can correct and teach while building relationships.

That same day, leaving the Walmart, I watched a couple roll their cart to their mini van. The wife unloaded bags upon bags of groceries into the trunk while the husband climbed into the driver’s seat, cranked the music and waited….

And those two occasions got me to thinking about the boys and men of today’s world. It got me thinking about the things I learned from my dad that boys should just do……
Tumblr_m9smu3bqxs1qjbym9o1_500_large
Boys pay for dinner
Boys let you order first
Boys walk on the outside of the street
Boys open the door for you
Boys carry the groceries and the luggage when they’re with
Boys give up their seat if there’s a female or older gentleman standing

But it’s even more than being a well-mannered man. It’s the heart things too. Growing up, my parents called it a “moral warehouse.” Those things that are essentially good and intrinsically right. It seems today most men’s warehouses are worrisomely vacant.  

Nearly all of my friends, myself included, have discovered that their guy is talking to other girls at the same time he’s talking to them.
Nearly all of my friends, myself included, have been cheated on.
Statements like “I don’t care if he goes to the strip club as long as he comes home to me at night” and “Every guy watches porn....it’s just part of being a guy” are standard fare in the dating world
And "checking other people" out are common place....I mean, they're "just looking" right. 
Tumblr_lv6ehtjehp1r1pkono1_500_large

I know there’s a strong pull to be dominant, independent women in today’s culture. And that, I mostly agree with. Women should know what’s it’s like to work in some aspect. How to pay bills. And have a strong work ethic outside of folding laundry and cooking casseroles. They should know how to live on their own. Do things on their own. How to handle crisis (with a police officer father things like “always be scanning, scanning, scanning in parking lots,” locating pressure points and defense tactics are breakfast topics) :) But, in addition, women should know their incredible value. A lot of women have lost their value along the way….
Tumblr_lra0jjxism1qfsec8o1_400_large

So yes kids will be kids and do silly kid things. But these little diapered muffins toddling around in Garanimals are tomorrow’s boyfriends. And tomorrow’s husbands. And wouldn’t it be awesome if tomorrow’s women never experienced the heartache of being cheated on? Never knew the insecurities that came from their guy looking at other women? And were well-familiar with being someone’s “enough” instead of someone’s option?

Today’s little boys are tomorrow’s men ladies…..raise them well.
XO, A

48 comments:

PrettyPhysicist said...

Amen. So well written. I loved reading this. I'm proud to say that I found a good man that does all of these things. However, before I met him, I dated all kinds of jerks. For me, it was always a deal breaker if he didn't pay for dinner and open the door for me on our first date. Second date, I'd pay (if I really liked him), but a first date is supposed to be about first impressions. Hold out for a good guy ... there are some there, they're just hiding behind all the hot douches at the bar. :)

Katie said...

first of all what a good picture of your family. and I love love love your tall boots. secondly what a good dad! and a great example of a man, husband and dad! and you are so right! it's sad that so many of those things or values seem lost. Thankfully there are some good men out there too!

Ashley said...

Wow such a good post! This really hit home for me. I really enjoy reading it :)

Ashley
ashleysaysblog.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Gosh, I love this. If more people really took time to think about how we're training up little boys, I would be out of a job. And that would be awesome :)

meghan said...

This is such a well written and thought out post, Ashley. It's very true that the world is changing and people seem to be losing their manners along the way. I hate that the little things like helping with groceries and letting women go first are things that aren't being taught or reminded anymore. It makes me appreciate that Tim helps me with the groceries and opens the car door sometimes. I hate that you and your friends have found out guys are cheating on you or talking to other girls at the same time. That's just the lowest of the low. There are still some good ones out there, though. :) Have a good Monday.

jayme said...

love you. and this woman (me!), will raise a gentleman. just as my man's mama raised him.

xo

ps - are you the daddys girl and shannon a mamas girl?

P!nky said...

Great great post, so true. My daddy and mama raised me as an independent woman, but I'm still daddy's lil princess.

He does things for me without me having to ask, and that is asking alot of the men in my life. My bf C, has slowly gotten the hang of it after 2 years, but I must admit he he can have it hard because I LIKE to be independent so I send mixed signals.

I grew up in a house of girls too and am terrified to have a boy when kids come into play. But, part of me craves a little boy to turn into a well mannered young man, that treats women right.

love you girlie! xoxo

Missy San Pedro said...

That was a very well written post! I can imagine the boys of our generation to be the best guys for every ladies and be considered as mannered modern men that was raised properly by their families. How good is it to have someone like them. A dream of every girl.

Dayna Leigh said...

I have a strict standard when it comes to men, which is probably why I'm still single. I'm not high maintenance at all, but if a guy does not open my car door for me, then I call it quits. It demonstrates a sense of respect to a woman when a man does that. And if a man does not show respect to a woman 100% of the time, why waste your time?
I've always heard the expression that women want a man whose mama raised him right. Um, not me. I want a man whose FATHER raised him right. Men grow up to be the man their father was, the man their father raised them to be. I just wish today's man was able to bestow quality gentlemen traits to their kids, because you're right. Kids right now are the future.

Heidi said...

It's all because we live in a fallen world.

Great post!

April Marie said...

This is an excellent post. I have 4 nephews and 2 on the way and I pray pray pray that they get the important things about being an upstanding man. Their fathers aren't the best role models.

Ashley said...

i love when you write these types of posts, ash! you truly have a beautiful heart <3

i agree with every single word.

nothing makes me smile more than when i see a man pull out a chair for a woman, hold the door, open a car door and when a man only has eyes for the lady he's with.

i'm a firm believer that having manners go a lonnnggg way!! yes, i've been guilty of "forgetting" my manners at home some days, but i try my hardest to use them. my momma taught me better than that.

you are so lucky to have the father figure you do. a girl really does need a father. after Christ...your father is the second man you truly love.

i refuse to settle for anything, but the man that was made just for me. i truly believe he's out there and until then i'll remain patient and faithful in God's way. i pray he will have the same views as the ones you described in this post :)

Whitney said...

i LOVEEEE everything about this post! i just had this conversation with my girlfriends over brunch on saturday :)

Were you at Buckhead Church a couple of weeks ago with Andy's wife got up on stage and they were talking about how they raised their children? More specifically about how they raised their son to treat his mother and sister with respect? My favorite thing was that when sitting at the dinner table, their son (even as a young kid) had to wait until all of the girls sat down, and then he could take his seat. so respectful!! and now that little boy will grow up to respect women because it has been instilled in him.

I blame the kardashians. (mostly because i blame them for everything wrong with society :) even if they have nothing to do with it ) lol!!

Caley-Jade Rosenberg said...

Wow Ashley, this is an incredible post! So well written and so so true! I hope you have plenty of male readers too - they could all learn a thing or two...

There are far too many "boys" running around, and we need them to all stand up and learn to become men! We all deserve a real man in our lives!

Unfortunately, we have to kiss a few 'boys' before we find our Prince Charming in a man - and a lot is said by the childhood they were brought up in. Many boys have fathers who are boys and mothers who were happy to live with a boy!

Congrats to your dad for teaching you about men and how to strive for only the best in a man and never lower your expectations.
x

Stephanie said...

Well said! My goal is to raise my little man to be a great husband and daddy one day.

Alexa said...

Oh this is such a great post. A great example of a man indeed!

Shannon said...

Awesome awesome post. And now you make me want to run over and hug my mother-in-law, bc I swear to a higher power, I won the jackpot the day I married Andy. :)

Raquel said...

I love this post!! So well said and written!

lindsay said...

So very true! Good dads really set the bar high, don't they? I used to work with your dad - such a gentleman!

Joe + Tara said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. AMEN.

Joe + Tara said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. AMEN.

Jenna said...

Thank you! I love this post! I was in a long-term relationship where my ex did all those things "guys just do" and I thought it was okay because that was the norm. But now, I'm engaged to a man whose parents taught him how to treat a lady, and I absolutely love it! I look up to his parents so much for raising three respectable young men.

Lindsay said...

What a great post. My pastor just spoke about something similar to this on Sunday!

katie michelle said...

Ashley, this was so perfect and right on. I learned so much from my own dad, too, about what a real MAN is, and how a man should treat a woman just from his example in his relationship with my mom. And you know how they say that girls marry their dads/ are drawn to husbands like their fathers? Well, I am happy to say I definitely married a guy who is so like my dad, it's crazy to think about sometimes. And I wouldn't have it any other way! :)

morgan said...

very well said!
i, too grew up with a house full of girls + my dad and my husband grew up with a house full of boys + his mom! this is something we talk about a lot.
it's sad how little attention is paid to little boys (and little girls)...too often we don't think of them as the future husbands, wives, and parents that they will be.
great post!

Brandi said...

I have two boys and I absolutely love this post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angel said...

Amazing love this post almost as much as the one who inspired it :) I love you and we definitely need to catch up soon!

Elisabeth @ La Vita e Bella said...

love this post. thanks so much for sharing!

Emily Marie {Isnt That Charming} said...

I love this post! It's so refreshing to know that there are men out there with great morals and values, like your dad. I kissed many frogs before I found my current boyfriend, and now we've been dating for over 6 years! It's the little things that are the most important.

SabrinaBiziarek said...

Amazing. Loved reading this. Shared it on my facebook! Great, Great, Great!!!

Jenna said...

I looove this post! It's sooo true... your dad is a very, very wise man :)

xxx
Jenna

Angie Jenkins said...

I so loved reading this. I miss your mom and dad!! Such awesome people!!I have learned so much from both of them. Thanks for taking the time to post this. :-)

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

so well-written, thought-provoking and true! and knowing your dad, this is SO true about him! thanks for writing this, friend - i LOVED it!

Natalia Lynn said...

Aahhh, I LOVE this! LOVE IT! I have two little boys and I always say that I am raising men, not boys. Men that will be able to run a company if that's what they want, and most definitely run a family. We talk about opening doors and giving up seats for girls. I pray daily for my little guys that they will learn to be men. And thankfully I have a husband who does those things as well. Great great post, very well written, I am most definitely going to share!

Celia said...

Love this post! Except the groceries.. I have my way of loading them :P he can just help.

Ashley said...

SO well put. I only hope that my little guy can grow into a man like his Dad and MY Dad!
Love love love this post.

Caren Harvey said...

Wow, takes a special woman to write an article like this. And you are 100% correct, the extra time it takes to raise them as gentlemen is well worth it. We need more role models like your dad (whom I have the privilege to know) and special moms to help them be "The Dad". Ladies to have a great man or husband, you have to let them be just that, men. This can be hard for women, but it is what we truly want. So expect it and raise it of our men and boys today. Thanks for stepping out Ashley, great words of wisdom.

A said...

I am loving this post. It's so true and something I've thought about before. Great dads are a lot for a boyfriend to live up to, but I'm thankful to mine for showing me what I will always deserve.

gretchen said...

great post... thanks for sharing! I have three boys that we are striving to raise to respect and honor women because they are women. Thanks.

Mariah said...

Strong Work Ashley...Loving You and Praying for you often, all the way from my side of the Sea!

Stacey said...

Love this! I have sat under your dads teaching and could so very well see him telling a little boy how to behave! It is a very sobering thought and a lot of responsibility to know that our sweet little boys will one day be the men of this world, but very worth the outcome when they are trained well. Thank you!

Stacey said...

Love this! I have sat under your dads teaching and could so very well see him telling a little boy how to behave! It is a very sobering thought and a lot of responsibility to know that our sweet little boys will one day be the men of this world, but very worth the outcome when they are trained well. Thank you!

Tiffany said...

Oh my gosh, I love this so much. Thank goodness there are dads like yours in the world who teach kids the right things to do as men and expect as ladies!

~Tiffany
http://tiffanyd22.blogspot.com

Moving Onward and Upward said...

i work at a university and have noticed lately men don't even let women go first anymore -out of elevators and doors. And I had the thought "gentlemen are a dying breed... so sad". i enjoyed finding your blog. thanks!

{[Jessica]} said...

i LOVE your boots in this picture!! where are they from?

This post is so very very true!! Dad's hold a special place in our hearts for teaching us how a man should treat a lady!!! cant wait to read more

Katie said...

Ashley, I cannot tell you enough how much I adore this post. I see so many guys do all those wrong things and it just makes my heart sick how everyone is supposed to be okay with it because that is how this world is. We should be raising the kids of today to be respectful and kind people and the boys should taught to be gentleman. Your dad sounds like such a wonderful guy.

I have so much respect for the parents that actually raise their children that way. In fact, the guy I have a crush on right now(hehe)was truly raised right and one of the reasons I like him is how sweet and respectful he is to women and I honestly think he would be an awesome father someday himself. So hopefully I can get to know him better soon :)

Thanks for writing this post. I love it a lot. Also, that photo of your family is wonderful. You are all so beautiful!

sorry for the longest comment known to man.

Nicole said...

OMG I love this. Oddly enough I wound up with a good one... my husband opens doors, carries the groceries, opens my car doors even, but it is so sad to see how men are these days. I have been cheated on and it royally sucks!

Megan said...

Loved this post! Reminds me of my dad. :)