Just The Boys!

by Cliff Ravenscraft on May 28, 2005

in Blog

Last night was one of my favorite nights of parenthood. Last night my son, Matthew, and I had some time just by ourselves. Stephanie's little sister had her graduation last night and she took Meagan and McKenna with her and offered to allow Matthew and I to have some much need time as “Just The Boys!”

Let me back up a bit and tell you a little bit about my daughter, Meagan, for just a moment. Meagan is five years old and from very early on in her life, she has always been a “Daddy's Girl.” When Meagan was born, my life CHANGED! I began to see world through the eyes of a little girl. It was amazing. I recall hours and hours over the past five years of just holding her in my arms tightly, telling her countless times how much I love and adore her and how special she is to me. “Tears are pouring down my face and splashing on my desk as I type this.”
Meagan is so very much like me in her personality and we share so many things in common. Spending time with Meagan has been so “natural” to me as we have gone out on many daddy/daughter date nights together. I cherish ever conversation we've ever had, especially those times when she opens the window to her soul and allows me to speak into her heart. This is especially true of the time when she and I talked about her friend from pre-school who had died from leukemia. If you have some tissues handy, you can read this post about that conversation and you can click this post to see a picture of just how close she was to this precious little girl.
I share that as a background to my story about “Just The Boys.” I recall being so full of joy when Stephanie was pregnant with Matthew. I was so excited to learn that we were going to have a son. Talk about being truly blessed! When Matthew was born, naturally, Stephanie cared for most every need for him, just as she did with Meagan, for the first nine to twelve months.
However, I was shocked when things didn't occur along the same timeline as they did with Meagan. There was point in time when Meagan began to really enjoy spending tons and tons of time with daddy. When Matthew got about that age, I was ready! However, that time didn't seem to come as soon as I thought it would. In fact, two years went by and still, my son preferred spending time with mommy. It took me a long time to truly accept it, but what I had on my hands was a mommy's boy. Matthew's personality more closely resembles Stephanie's personality. They are both much more patient and laid back than Meagan and I are.
Now I don't have any issues with my son loving his mommy the way that he does. However, from the time he was born, I've desired to have a strong bond with my son as I do with Meagan. When we found out that Stephanie was pregnant with our daughter, McKenna, we were concerned how Matthew would handle mommy spending so much time devoted to his little sister.
Almost a year ago, Matthew and I began doing things together, just the two of us. However, for some reason, Matthew and I just didn't seem to be “connecting” or “bonding.” I'm sure that his age had a lot to do with it as well as the fact that he is so “soft spoken” that if a room is not “totally” silent, you can't really hear what he is saying. The fact is that it was starting to concern me that I wasn't connecting with my son the way that I really wanted to.
Lately, things have improved. Matthew and I have been doing more and more together. We turn every event where the girls aren't present, into “just the boys” time, even if it's just going to put gas in the van.
LAST NIGHT HOWEVER… We had a major breakthrough. For the first time, I really felt a bond established with my son. He and I were on the “same page” the whole night. I listened “intently” to every single word that came out of his mouth. I answered every question he asked. For the first time ever, we really enjoyed a “CONVERSATION” together. It was Amazing!
Matthew and I had dinner at Pizza Hut last night. We sat on the same side of a booth together and just enjoyed each other's company. After that, the two of us went to see the new Star Wars, Episode III. Another “first” happened again last night. I got to see what it was like see the world through the eyes of my son having an awesome time with his “daddy.”
We messed up on the start time of the movie. We thought one would start at 8:30, but we had to wait for a 9:30 showing. It was the best time I've ever spent with my son. I'll never forget last night, sharing popcorn with my son as he and I watched Star Wars together. I had flash backs in my mind of the time when I saw the very first Star Wars movie when I was a young boy. I sat and wandered if Matthew would be able to look back and remember this time we spent together, if it would be as meaningful to him as it was to me.
About an hour and a half into the movie, he could not hold off any longer. Matthew's eye lids grew heavier and heavier and he climbed up into my lap and said, “Daddy, I'm tired.” He laid back against me, he had one foot propped up on the seat in front of us and he fell asleep watching Star Wars in his daddy's lap.
After the movie, I carried my son to the car, took him home, and laid him in his bed. As I laid him down and was taking off his shoes, he slightly woke and I asked him if he had a good time, just the boys… And with as much excitement and enthusiasm as one can given when they are 95% asleep, he said “Yes, Thanks Daddy.” Then he rolled over and went to sleep.
It was an awesome evening that I shall cherish for ever!

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