All About Boys… and Their Moms
Back in the fall of 2020, while I was out to dinner with a couple of fellow “all-boy moms,” one of them shared a podcast with us: All About Boys with David Thomas. Between the 3 of us we have 10 sons, and we need all the help we can get.
After listening to the very first podcast, “The Five Stages of Development,” I was so encouraged and challenged, as a mom of two boys ages 9 and 12. There was still hope! That’s when I heard that “still, small voice” saying that I wasn’t the only one that needed to hear this… so out went a group text message to all my boy mom friends, asking if anyone was interested in listening with me and meeting at my home on Friday mornings to discuss. Then came the responses: it was an overwhelming, “Yes, please!” and so our 8-week study of All About Boys began.
After several weeks of meeting, gleaning truths from David on topics such as “Boys and Screens” “Boys and Mothers,” and one of our very favorites, “Boys and Purpose,” we decided to end with a celebration so we could put all that we learned into practice.
That celebration was a mother/son dinner at nice restaurant with all of our boys. Not one, but THREE different dinners (one for our 3rd/4th graders, one for our 5th/6th graders, and one for families that did not feel comfortable eating inside of a restaurant still) were planned and expectations were set! Breaking up the dinners allowed for one-on-one time for those of us who have multiple sons of different ages, because real life isn’t like the group dates you see on the Bachelorette.
The key was all about setting the expectations! We even told the boys that they had to dress up. Some boys wore suits, some wore ties, and mine were lucky to find a pair of jeans that they hadn’t outgrown and put on a shirt that wasn’t a soccer jersey.
Our boys brought us flowers, opened doors, wrote us cards, held our hands, and sat next to their mom “date.” (Dads jumped in on this part and gave the pre-game talk to our boys before the big night).
Before arriving that evening, each mom chose one word to describe their son that was written on their son’s place card. Each boy wrote out a personal card for their mom telling them why they were the “best mom in the world.” While waiting to be served, the moms went around the table describing their son and why they chose that one word for them. One of the younger boys asked his mom that night at bedtime if she really thought he was “strong.” That was the word that she had chosen for him. He had thought about it all night.
During the dinner, we practiced the art of conversation by having conversation starter cards on each table to help with the flow (thanks to David’s podcast on “Boys and Emotions“). Having each boy sit next to his own mom prevented us from separating ourselves with boys on one end of the table and moms on the other.
Most importantly, there were NO SCREENS during a two hour sit-down dinner.
The evening ended with delicious bite-size desserts, a few group pics, and lots of sweet conversations. On the way home, my 9-year-old held my hand and said, “I had the best time, Mom!!! My favorite parts were the desserts, the conversations, and time with you. It was actually all worth having to get dressed up nice.”
Thank you all (and especially David) for inspiring us to step into our boys’ worlds, helping us understand them a little bit more, and encouraging us in how to come alongside the boys we love.