I sent my three oldest children off to school today, and I found myself at home with my toddler and my three-year-old. My inquisitive, fearless three-year-old. Henry.
Henry is the kid who pulled out his own feeding tube as a premie in the NICU. Henry is the kid who could unscrew light bulbs and open “child proof” medicine bottles as a toddler. Henry is the kid who appears to have the ability to scale walls and won’t let anyone stop him if that’s what he decides to do. He likes to take things apart. He wants to know how everything works. He loves to wrestle, kick things, jump from high places, and throw things. Henry constantly seems to be testing the limits of his mental, physical, and emotional powers.
“It is extremely important for young men to learn the limits of their power. It’s a challenge they feel bound to confront, and it’s why they climb mountains, race cars, and wrestle. It is about understanding what they have inside and how far they can take it. It’s when they hit the wall that humility begins to set in.” Meg Meeker, Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons
Henry has a lot going on inside that little head and body of his, and I want to help him understand it. So I have a plan. A plan for seeking power. Not in a take over the world with an evil cackle kind of way, but in a cover the world with hope and charity way.
Yes, my plan does involve a lot of park playing, nature hiking, throwing things just to throw them kind of days, but I also want to seek ways he can feel the power of charity. I want to challenge his three-year-old heart and brain to help our family organize some simple service projects. I want to put his physical energy to good use and see how many cans of food he can carry to the food bank. I want to challenge him to be loving and generous towards his family and friends.
“…boys need to learn to apply their skills, their power, to helping others. Boys need to serve; it is good for them; it directs their energies and helps them define the useful purposes of power; it tempers power with responsibility.” Meg Meeker
I plan to help Henry “hit the wall” and learn humility in safe, responsible ways. Testing his limits is what God created him to do. This is a good thing. With the right guidance, this is what will help him take over the world some day with an outpouring of virtuous fervor.
See more about raising strong, healthy boys in Meg Meeker’s book, Boys Should Be Boys: 7 Secrets to Raising Healthy Sons.