Sunday, August 29, 2010

What Real Men Look Like...

When I was a little girl, I had in mind the kind of man I wanted to marry. He was going to be a cross between Prince Phillip, from Disney's Sleeping Beauty, Han Solo from Star Wars, and John Wayne...
Lucky for me, Jeff grew up reading Louis L'Amour books, watching lots of John Wayne movies, and playing in the woods outside in whatever state he happened to be living in at the time. He usually grew up in the country, and took being a Boy Scout very seriously. He and his brother Scott even put all of their survival skills to good use when they decided to leave home and live in the woods when they got mad at their grandmother for making them help clean out the attic. They headed off to Turkey Creek and took their sleeping bags, some carrots and their fishing poles. They took their BB guns too and knew they could live on rabbits they would catch with traps made of string.
They lasted one night, but only because they fire they build wasn't big enough to keep them warm. They headed back home and their Dad found them walking along the road back from Turkey Creek. Dad didn't scold preach. He just told them how worried he and Mom were, and was glad that they had decided to come back home.

But I have no doubt that Jeff and his brother Scott could have gotten along just fine in the wilderness by the age of 10 with everything they learned from their father, and by discovering all the skills they would ever need by themselves.
I feel like the world has changed, and that I can't just send my boys off into the mountains by themselves to shoot rabbits with BB guns, or to head off to the local river to fish by themselves all day while they float down the stream on inner tubes. Life is more complicated now, and dangerous.So I am even more appreciative for a Father-in-law, and a husband who are willing to take my boys and teach them how to be men. A Grandfather to my boys, who has done so well not only by teaching his own sons to appreciate nature and the world, but also to survive in it.

And not only in nature. But in the real world as well. His sons love their families and their wives. They work hard and know how mechanical things work. They fix things. They are street wise. They can take care of their families. They are dependable and help others. They are strong, brave, capable, problem-solvers.

They are real men. They live it. They define it.

And my boys will grow up knowing what an amazing thing it is in this world to be one of those Bingham Boys, too.