What one Chicago mom has learned about raising boys

As I have slowly and painfully come to the realization that my older two sons are looking for a bit more freedom this summer, it has taken everything I have not to implant a GPS tracking chip directly into their butts.

Trust me. I’ve researched it.

Outside of allowing the boys to go to 7-Eleven for the occasional Slurpee or crossing a major street to see if a friend is home, there are many instances of parental stalking. With a brand new outdoor hockey arena constructed nearby, my Patrick Kane-obsessed middle son clamors to go over every morning.

Kids with sticks. What could possibly go wrong?

Naturally, I would need to monitor this.

I met up with another hockey mom there yesterday to await lost teeth and stitches.

Sadly, both of us are quite familiar with lost teeth and stitches. We wear our badges with trepidation and fear. Between our five boys, we pretty much guarantee the long-term financial solvency of local emergency rooms throughout Chicago.

Yet what we hadn’t anticipated was the growing physicality of the kids during sports. There was pushing. Shoving. Posturing.

We both sort of froze.

Then identical questions raced through our minds.

Do we stop it? Was the fighting even for real? Is this part of the whole “rules of the playground” bit that over-scheduled kids don’t get anymore? Do we wait until there’s bloodshed?

And just like that, it was over. The boys were smiling and laughing, and my son told me they were just mimicking the hockey fights they watched on television, dropped gloves and all.

Less you think I am the type who blames society and the media for every ill on the planet, I am not. I tend to hold individuals responsible, crazy as it may be. Even when my boys’ days were limited to Caillou and The Wiggles, their favorite activity on the planet was wrestling with my husband. No sooner would Joe sprawl out across our living room to watch TV, than three toddlers would pile on with a rallying cry of “let’s fight!”

I didn’t understand.

I was such a sweet child.

Is sweet a recessive gene?

My angst grew over the years. Were my boys destined to be the root cause of World War III? Would their whole lives be about destruction and violence? Was I propagating a sex known only for bringing disharmony and unhappiness onto the world?

Or, more likely, had I just been reading too many anti-men articles?

Before I had a chance to decide, I watched the boys help each other to their feet, assist with locating everyone’s correct equipment and sticks, and head off arm-in-arm in search of Slurpees. They even stopped and asked the moms present what flavors they would like.

I suppose the destruction of mankind would have to wait another day.

Although I did make a note to talk to them about not invading Poland and dressing appropriately for Russian winters (layers, layers, layers!) sometime before high school.

A mom’s job is never done.

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