Monday Musings: Being a Boy
He yelped as he bumped into the low table nearby. Nerve-wracking pain raced to his brain as tears stung his eyes.
But he mustn’t cry. “Crying is for sissies, ” he consoled himself, blinking his eyes in quick successions to keep the tears away.
I watched from a distance as he got up and limped away casting curses at the table. His retreating figure stopped to pat the spot between his left knee and his foot where the bone had hit against the table’s edge.
It must have hurt him pretty bad but he preferred not to show how badly he was hurting by waving away his pain.
I wondered how many times he had done that while growing up.
Did he ever cry or was the last time as a little boy? He was fifteen now, still a boy, yet he already knew not to cry.
Were boys forbidden to show their pains through tears or was it labeled a female’s thing because it showed weakness?
Did crying mean one was weak? Unable to bear the pains that came with being human?
I wondered yet again if he ever fell from a bike or ever rode one.
If he ever buckled under a heavyweight, sinking to his knees and grazing them against the dust.
I wondered if he ever got hurt while playing with his friends or ever grazed his elbow in the dry season.
Oh, how painful that is. He probably did, if not, nobody would have told him crying was for sissies.
No one would have cupped their hands against his mouth to keep him from showing how pained he was.
Being a boy is tough.
Being a man is a herculean task.
You don’t just have to deal with being a human being, you have to be strong, charred by storms of life, and yet you aren’t allowed to show it.
You mustn’t be weak or show fear, they say.
You must not cry or grumble.
You must stand firm, with chest puffed as hard as a brick wall and head so high that it could be seen above the clouds.
You mustn’t slouch or stagger under a weight.
You mustn’t groan or moan in the face of loss or fuss.
You mustn’t show mushy feelings of love and care.
You can act them out but that flicker of emotions in your eyes mustn’t linger.
It must disappear as soon as it appears and in its place, a look of reprimand must dwell.
Dimmed eyes, with furrowed brows and cheeks that look like they ‘d never felt a blush nor a flush.
You must not say “I love you” unless you are trying to win a lady’s heart.
I wondered who made these rules for boys or who ordered fathers not to smile a lot like mothers.
Yes, Father rarely smiled, I thought.
He was always stoic, ready to admonish with his cane, and to shake his head in disapproval.
Did he learn that as a little boy or just a few days after he clocked fifteen?
Or maybe from the other fathers that lived in our street?
All men were once boys, they probably learned not to cry from their fathers.
They must have been told to jeer at fear and embrace apathy as quickly as they did their pillows at night.
They must have wondered why their sisters were allowed to cry, kissed, and promised goodies so they could stop crying.
Why they were promised strokes of cane and more beatings if they as much as let a tear drop.
Is crying really for the weak, sissies, or the ones who have stayed strong for too long?
Does crying mean you are too soft? Shouldn’t everyone be soft-hearted?
If a boy wasn’t ever meant to cry or show pain why does he have tear glands and a heart?
It indeed is tough to be a boy.
Because then it means you would be a man someday.
That alone is scary, but you can’t show it.
It definitely is a hard knock life for boys and sadly that fifteen-year-old will not be exempted.
I think everyone be you male or female should let go the tears sometimes, maybe not always but sometimes. Let go the heavy feeling in your heart and when the well of tears goes dry pick up the strewn pieces of your heart and saunter on.
Crying is healthy. Let it all go.
What do you think about crying and about being a boy? Do you also think it’s for sisses?
Leave your thoughts in the comment box below.
Have a wonderful Monday!