We have a handful of boys running around here and they always amaze me with their unique boyness that still baffles my feminine mind. The way they look and smell…and dress is uniquely different…at least around here. The camo hat and pants, the pockets full of….well, junk, the million questions I don’t care about, the things they find funny and entertaining…..well, they just aren’t me. That’s ok…that’s why I enjoy them so much. They are full of busy, boy energy.
We recently purchased a hardback book series written by the author R.M. Ballantyne who wrote a series of Christian adventure books for boys. A quote from one of the books:
Boys [should be] inured from childhood to trifling risks and slight dangers of every possible description, such as tumbling into ponds and off of trees, etc., in order to strengthen their nervous system…. They ought to practice leaping off heights into deep water. They ought never to hesitate to cross a stream over a narrow unsafe plank for fear of a ducking. They ought never to decline to climb up a tree, to pull fruit merely because there is a possibility of their falling off and breaking their necks. I firmly believe that boys were intended to encounter all kinds of risks, in order to prepare them to meet and grapple with risks and dangers incident to man’s career with cool, cautious self-possession…. R.M. Ballantyne, The Gorilla Hunters
Two of my boys just finished The Gorilla Hunters and have been talking about it for days. They each revisit parts of the book that they found thrilling and engage in animated conversation over the adventures that Ballantyne wrote about in the 1850’s.
The only caution I would give is that these books will inspire your boys… not only in conversation….but after your 10 year old reads The Gorilla Hunters or The Pirate City or The Young Fur Traders and has just memorized a deck of survival cards….don’t be surprised if you walk in your kitchen one morning and see something like this appear on your kitchen “What’s For Supper?” board:
My daughters comment as she was starring at the kitchen board was “What is wrong with them?” She further added, “I would never write anything like that mom…”
The “turtle blood” had me asking “…drinking turtle blood??? Where did you get that idea???” My 10 year old left the room and came running back with a deck of survival cards and pulled out the turtle card…promptly turning over the card he read….”Edible…if water is unavailable, you may drink turtle blood to maintain hydration until water can be found…”
Just another, “Hey…..Mom….did you know…..” statement I can see us having at the grocery store one day. Maybe since the turtle blood was dealt with at home, some poor elderly lady in the grocery store won’t have to worry herself sick that she passed cultists in on isle 7 and save me explaining that it was just the survival cards they were reading.