Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 17, 2014

For the boys

By Samantha Stroube-Daviss
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — It’s official, I have decided to not bring any of my nice decorative pieces out of hiding until my last little one is off to college. I may not be able to see my collectibles due to deteriorating eyesight by that age but at least everything will be intact.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my boys for the world, and as I have always said I don’t think I could handle having a little girl. But must they destroy everything that gets in their way? This past weekend within a 24-hour period they managed to rip the lid off my stainless steel trash can, and put a huge scratch down to the metal in the back of my car.

I’ve learned to accept it. I try to stay calm, but seriously?? Can I have nothing nice out to view and enjoy? Oh well, the joys of being a mother of boys (and their friends).

Even though they are rough and tumble on the outside, they are all still just little boys at heart, and they all have a special place in their hearts for their mommy and daddy. And I feel that sometimes in today’s day and age of rush, rush rush and go, go, go that we forget to sit down and just talk to our boys, to give them a hug, or just let them know that no matter what is bothering them they are free to cry, open up, or just lean on our shoulders. Stereotypically, boys feel they should keep everything bottled up inside, but that is doing nothing but harming them.

I had the best conversation with my oldest son one night driving home from Dallas, and sometimes that’s all it takes. An hour of alone time, and they are like a massive dam — once one drop of water breaks through, the communication dam is broken and they just start spilling all their thoughts and feelings like a flood.

I’ve modified and enhanced a list of things all boys should hear from their mothers, but mainly their fathers (step fathers, uncles, grandfathers…whoever their male role model is in life). It’s important they know some of these things. These boys are our next generation of men, and they need to know what we expect out of them as men, husbands, fathers, and grown sons. This list may help them understand how to navigate through life, or it may be a way for you as a parent to start a much needed conversation with your son:

• Go for a woman that you perceive to be “out of your league.” You may be pleasantly surprised.

• Never throw the first punch, unless they are an immediate threat.

• Never make your first date to the movies…be creative.

• Learn to wet shave and shave with the grain on your first go-around.

• Nothing looks more “awesome” than a well-tailored suit.

• Always look a person in the eye when speaking to them.

• Always be the first to extend your hand for a proper hand shake, and stand up when doing so.

• Every hat should serve a purpose.

• Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.

• Brush your teeth before you put on your tie—but never wear a clip on tie.

• A small amount of your paycheck should go into your savings every month.

• Call your parents every week — no matter how old you are.

• Always compliment her shoes and/or her handbag. She put a lot of effort into her ensemble. Take notice and say something. She did it for you.

• Fake confidence — it will come. But don’t be arrogant. There is a difference.

• Be aware of your body language.

• Speak to her as you would want to be spoken to.

• The only reason to ever point a gun at another human is if you intend to shoot them.

• Never lend something you can’t afford to lose.

• Reach for her hand more than she reaches for yours — it’s not a competition.

• Ask more than you answer. Everyone enjoys talking about themselves.

• Surprise her every once in a while.

• Buy high quality tools — you’ll only buy them once.

• Keep a change of clothes at the office.

• Manliness is not only being able to take care of yourself, but others as well.

• Go with the decision that will make for a good story.

• Nice guys don’t finish last — boring guys do.

• Never cheat If you want to end it, end it. Be a man. Better yet be a classy man.

• No matter their job or status in life, everyone deserves your respect.

• The most important thing you can learn is personal responsibility; bad things happen, it’s your job to overcome them.

• Never stop learning.

• Always go out in public dressed like you’re about to meet the love of your life. Even if you already have met her, dress like it — she’ll feel valued.

• Don’t change yourself just to make someone happy, unless that someone is you.

• If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

• Do whatever you want to do in life, but be the best at it.

• No one is on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at the office. Enjoy your life.

• Find the love of your life — she’s out there. Hang on to her, and tell her every day she is in fact the love of your life. Remember, waking up to her is your greatest accomplishment.

My boys are my whole world (including my husband). They are my everything. They are my future. I am raising them to be the kind of young men that any girl would be proud to take home to her parents. I know I have succeeded as a mother if my boys find the love of their lives, are happy in their careers, and raise good, kind caring children themselves.

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Samantha Stroube-Daviss is a Daily Sun columnist. Her column appears on Thursdays. She may be reached by email at columnwriter98@hotmail.com. Read her blog at Samantha-daviss.blogspot.com. Follow her on Twitter @samanthadaviss1.