Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.
As a father of four girls and one boy I’m gonna’ speak a little bit about the difference between boys and girls. That’s my resume. It’s my reason that you shouldn’t just roll your eyes and click on Simcha’s post.
It ain’t much of a resume but it’s the only one I got. The fact that it’s a little thin stops me from getting too proud. And that’s a good thing.
Anyway, can I get to the point here please?
I’ve got a buddy whose little girl is just the sweetest most darling creature you’ve ever met. And he’s got a boy. Who ain’t. I could tell you what the boy does, but I think you’d get a clearer image by my telling you what he doesn’t do. He doesn’t sit still. He doesn’t just have ants in his pants. They’re fire ants. With fleas. He doesn’t chew with his mouth closed but that’s just because the size of the thing he crammed in his mouth was bigger than his foot. He doesn’t walk. He jumps, leaps, bounds, runs, gallops or rolls. But he doesn’t walk. At least not that I’ve seen. He doesn’t talk quietly either. He seemed to have been born without the ability to modulate his voice in any way. When he’s excited about something he talks to me like h’es on the 50 yard line and I’m in the last bleacher of Giants stadium.
(You know, I’ve got a theory on why girls grow up faster than boys. Boys are loud. You hear them coming from three rooms away. With boys there’s time to whisper or start spelling anything you don’t want them to know. Girls are just so darn quiet that they sneak up on you in the middle of adult conversations and you don’t know they’re there before they know there’s no Santa, you’re two months late on the mortgage, and your boss is out for your job.)
Anyway, my buddy and his wife look at the disparity between their daughter and their typhoon of a son and think there’s something wrong with him. But I’m telling you now that there ain’t nothing wrong with this boy that ain’t wrong with my son and every other boy who ever existed.
Now I’m not saying the boy’s without faults. He likes Jar Jar Binks and I once saw him eat something off the driveway that didn’t look like gum.
But his parents are talking about medicating him. I’ve told him my boy is exactly the same as theirs. I told him that the only time my son is still is when his teacher asks the kids to raise their hand if they know the answer. Heck, he even runs in his sleep. You should see it. I don’t know whether he’s chasing something in his dreams or he’s being chased but whatever it is looks pretty fast from the way the sheets look in the morning.
But boys take steps two at a time and are just as likely to come down the stairs head first as feet first. On purpose.
Boys don’t know their hair’s messed up because they haven’t looked in the mirror in three days.
Boys don’t know from a hug that doesn’t turn into a headlock or a tickle fight.
And boys sometimes throw expensive things, not because they’re expensive but just because they wanted to see how far they could throw it.
And I can’t help but think that boys aren’t the problem. It’s the parents trying to medicate the man out of that boy. That just doesn’t seem to be something you want to go after with a pill.
Look, I’m not saying that there’s no boys that couldn’t be helped by medication but what I’m saying is that I think somehow we’ve got things all backwards. Years ago, we got the notion in our heads that women had to become like men to be a success. So women all went on The Pill and that supposedly fixed ‘em right up. Except it didn’t if you know what I mean. It seems to have made things worse, if you ask me.
Now, somehow we’ve got it in our heads that boys have to be like girls. And guess what, we’ve got a pill for that too.
I wonder, in this age when facts have never been so readily available to everyone, basic truths seem to have slipped away.