Apr 19, 2008

The Practical Idea of Having an Ideal

"...therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife."

Bou has just the most wonderful post up about her changing/growing relationship with a young man of 13 years, that made me a bit melancholy. It wasn't her fault, it was just that her post was building upon the muse I've entertained for the last few weeks.

Nearly six months have passed since The Wedding. Frequent phone calls and financial needs have subsided. My son never visits my blog anymore (prob'ly a good thing!) and the signs of his newfound identity as, Husband of a Beautiful Woman have started taking hold; much like the character, Vulcan, introducing Uma Thurman as, "Venus. The goddess. My wife."

Nevertheless, it is his beautiful She, who must take precedence, and have more influence in his life. His heart will bend towards her more and more, and she will learn to respect that deference and together they'll squabble and tussle and bump into each other's very strong wills and learn to live together. Their Sixth Month Surprise is just around the corner, when a lot of the shiny has faded into the practical and the Need for Space resurfaces-- to the consternation of the one who feels shut out in the process.

I know my son well, but for not much longer will I know him better than most. And, he will grow even more into a wondrous person that will make me and the J.R. look at each other and say, "how, out of our two half-lives, did this entire Man arrive?" And his new bride is a woman of depth and substance and savvy who'll challenge him to grow. And when they have children (grandkids! yea! little pirates to steal our hearts!) he will change again.

Dads, when you're worrying about your daughters, just know that some moms are worrying about their sons, too. It's not just a one-sided hope we parents hold; for someone who'll be kind to their little girl and will love them and respect them.

It flows both ways. We have the same hope for happiness for our sons as you do for your daughters. Some parents really do want to grow their sons into the fullness of Humanness, despite the incredible and growing assertion that as humans, we're all a bunch of animals. That may be good enough for your kids, but not for mine. We want our sons to be treated with kindness and respect from a true young lady, not nagging narcissism from some spoiled princess or wild child.

We must teach our children how to live with, respect, love, and grow with another human being. To allow kids to think their tender feelings or tumultuous urges are the center of the world's attention is to raise a monster, whether boy or girl.

I'm sure that my son has found a wonderful young woman, but I'm even more sure, beyond any doubt, that she has found a man most fathers would want their daughter to marry. In fact, there was a real, if unwritten, List going around among the fathers of the young college girls my son used to hang out with. He was on every father's short list of eligible young men worthy of their daughter.

Idealistic of those dads, wasn't it, to expect so much? Well, worthiness is a two-way street; and in today's male-bashing world moms may feel a bit more anxious than you'd think.

Fortunately, two very worthy young people found each other and we are all very happy with their choices. Choices they made for themselves. Ideals they embraced as humans with a free will.


Now then, isn't this a sappy and unrealistic view of today's young people? Unfortunately, it is just too easy to convey to children-- usually by never communicating its opposite-- that they are simple animals and must make practical choices to account for their weaknesses. And so parents tend to arm them with birth control and technical information and phony Self Esteem, but never fortify them with an Ideal. It's just too impractical!

[Full disclosure: the J.R. and I like to kid that the Scripture verse on our Wedding Invitation was, "...it is better to marry than to burn with lust." ]

Well, the most impractical person you'll ever meet is someone who has never developed any self-possession or restraint; one who has never forged their natural energies and desires into an Ideal. Amoeba-like, they are doomed to merely respond to present surroundings, and will never even open that pack of Trojans or take that BC pill. Kids today have more information and practical support than ever they had when the only choice was to have and Ideal or be forced to live with the shame of failing that Ideal. And yet, more children are born out of wedlock and "by accident" than at any time in our history. Why? What changed? And why is it seen as a better and more "practical" approach. You'd think that our current crop of pseudo sociologists were born yesterday and had just discovered sex today.

Ideals are as strong as the people who hold them, and are not at the mercy of the weaker animals who sneer at them or ridicule them. Find the Ideal mate. Look for the Ideal purpose. Live the Ideal of your convictions. Even when you fail, you'll still be farther along than the amoebas.

Everyone else, please go buy condoms and pop BC pills. And stay home on election days.


Jean said...

This is a beautiful post, Joanie...as is Bou's.
You two are awesome!

Erica said...

Beautiful. What Jean (who is awesome, too) said.

pamibe said...

Another wonderful post!

You and Bou are two of the 'thinking' women of the blogosphere, writing with a clarity of soul that frequently brings tears to my eyes.

I wish I were a thinker, but I'm more of a 'judger'. ;)

Kim said...

Far out and rock on. As the mom of two boys, this made me cry.

Irrelephant said...

I hate to admit it, but as awed as I am by the incredible post I'm still thrilled over the Moon that you quoted one of my favourite lines from one of my all-time most favourite movies, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. You RAWK!

"I have found that a modicum of snuff can be most efficacious."

Bou said...

What an excellent post. You touched on SO MANY things that run through my head, but I've not been able to put words to, if that makes sense. The part about wild child and princesses and what we do not want for our sons.

I have been telling 'girl moms' who will listen, and well... some who won't, "I am doing my best to teach my son to respect himself and to respect women. He sees it through how his father treats me, how I treat myself and how I treat others. But *I* can only do so much, because if the girl, does not respect herself, eventually... he won't respect her either."

There is this pervasive thought that all boys are cads. I want to scream, "Look how you are dressing your daughters!" But its more than that, its how they act... everything. The spoiledness, the 'girls gone wild'... all of it.

And you summed it up and I'm going to start telling people this. I do not want the wild child or princess for my sons. I want the girl who respects herself and is grounded.

And I also tell people, "I want my son to know contentment and to find a woman who loves him as much as he loves her and who will treat him well... and who HE can treat well in turn." Not all women like to be treated well. I don't want one of those for them either. Blech.

Paul (aka Joan's son) said...

Maybe, some day, she'll even usurp your title of "Person Best Able to Embarrass Me" ;)

Vulcan, God of Fire, indeed! Perhaps I should regrow my full beard. It makes me that much more intimidating when I hurl chunks of glowing slag at the FNG's.

Jean said...

heh...and Joan thought he didn't read here any more!

Alan Sullivan said...

Nice post. Fits well with this article.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo, too, btw. Is that your wedding or your son's?

Joan of Argghh! said...

Thanks moms, and all, for your kind comments!

Bou, thanks for adding to the overall discussion with your wonderful comment, too.

Paul, you are too old to be my esquincle anymore, but you're pushing it... Glad to know you're causing headaches for someone else now! I'm not so sure she'll allow you grow a full beard, however.


Thanks Alan, how very special to get a visit from you!

Anon, it is my son's wedding pic.

Donna B. said...

As the mother of three strong-willed beautiful women, I would like to thank the mothers of the wonderful men they married.

Lin M. said...

What wise words about relationships and growing. Your son will indeed benefit as his relationship grows and seeks deep roots, from your outlook.

I dont comment much, but I had to say that was a particularly touching post.

Lin from Life Aloft

Joan of Argghh! said...

Thank you so much, Donna and Lin.