About a month after he started school Maxi-Taxi came home and announced that he had a ‘brother from another mother’. Hmmm… I thought, where did he learn that experession? That bro from another ho is certainly the more sophisticated brother.
I have watched their friendship bloom into mutual adoration. They simply cannot get enough of each other and it’s a beautiful thing to see. Their conversations (shamelessly spied on by this ho) are simple and direct.
“Do you think Ben 10 is the best fighter ever?”
“Yes. He’s the best.”
“Do you think there will ever be a better fighter?”
“Maybe when we’re bigger we could be better than him.”
I cherish these sweet little boy moments because over the course of a year I have also watched their friendship move into ‘mandom’. The longer they were at school, the less they held hands, hugged goodbye, leaned into each other and just enjoyed being together. Within a single year they have morphed from sweethearts to wrestling maniacs, who punch each other to express a joyous greeting and lifting up and throwing each other to affectionately say goodbye.
What happens to our boys? Maxi and Jamie have obviously learned how boys handle friendship from the older boys at school, who learned it from the older boys at school, who learned it from the older boys at school. Like a school yard chant that’s been doing the rounds since the seventies, there they are: the role models for our boys. Relics from a bygone era, teaching them that feelings are for ‘sissies’ and you’re ‘gay’ if you show affection.
Little boys are quite possibly the most affectionate and loving creatures in the world. And then they go to school. Of course they are still those loving little boys, but how can we teach them that it’s okay to show that love to each other? That true friends are vulnerable and affectionate with each other? That learning how to open up to each other may well be the thing that saves them one day?
Where do we start with that?