These public middle school boys are giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “boys will be boys.” It will fill your heart – and our world – with hope.
Do you want to know what the new “boys will be boys” is? It’s this.
My friend texted yesterday and said that her middle school son was going to this after school club. Our family is new to this town and new to the schools. In all the paperwork, I must have missed the information about this club. My son was already in school and he doesn’t have a cell phone. So I met my new middle schooler after school and asked him if he wanted to join and we could see about going to the first meeting today. He said yes! We headed into the school office and I humbly asked if he could join.
The kind secretary got a hold of the teacher and she said, “Sure! Send them down!” I had to go with him to sign the permission form. As my son led me through the school, I said a prayer. I hate being late. I hate entering an event after it has started. And here we were going into a completely new situation. I wondered how they’d be. I prayed it would go smoothly and be a positive experience.
What happened blew me away.
When we walked into the room where children were already hard at work on a project, I heard music to ANY mom’s ears:
“(my son’s name!)! Come sit here!!!” And a boy I didn’t know stood up smiling as he saw my son and pulled out a chair next to him for my son to sit in.
“Get some of those donut holes, man. They are good!” Another middle school boy I didn’t know pointed out to my son.
“Hey, (son’s name)! I didn’t know you were coming. Awesome!” Another boy said.
“Here’s what we are working on,” another boy said as he got the papers for my son.
And I was beaming. Here was a group of boys excited to see my son and they welcomed him into the club.
I had just been talking to a mom friend earlier in the day and asked her to pray for my son and that he makes some good, wholesome friends with people who are kind. My son is a good, kind person. He is the kind of friend I would have wanted back in middle school. And every mom hopes her child has a group of friends who sees and welcomes her child.
Well, angels showed up yesterday in a middle school club. And let me tell you about this “group of angels”: they were African American, Asian, Indian, and Caucasian MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS – all sitting together at a table working on a problem and welcoming in a new kid.
THIS is the new “boys will be boys.”
– Black, white, brown, straight, gay, tall, short, skinny, fat, poor, rich sitting around a table solving problems together.
– Boys making room at the table for a new kid.
– Boys regarding one another.
– Boys being kind and welcoming.
My son had only known two people before he started at this new school a few weeks ago. And here were boys of all different colors, shapes, and sizes being kind, being loving, and being welcoming.
Their instant kindness sent the message: “You belong.”
This is the new “boys will be boys.” And our middle schoolers are leading the way.
These are the kinds of boys we want to be nominated for the Supreme Court. These are the kinds of boys we want to see running for President. These are the kinds of boys we want to see become politicians.
And if you ask, “Well, where were the girls?” I noticed there were girls sitting at other tables working with boys. And as I walked out of the classroom, I happened to see a mom I literally just met the day before. She was in the same boat: her family is new to this town and her daughter really wanted to join this club.
“She’s nervous about going in late and that we don’t have the permission slip with us,” the mom said.
I was so excited to share with them what I had just experienced. I looked at her daughter reassuringly. I, too, have been a girl who had to walk into a room mostly full of boys. I, too, have been a girl who had to enter an event late. I could so resonate with her nervousness.
“We just signed up, too!” I told her. “My son is in there. They are kind kids. You’ll see!”
I later found out that they welcomed this new girl in, too, just as they had my son.
THIS is the new “boys will be boys.”
Boys will be warm, kind, welcoming, regarding, inclusive, collaborative, empathic, and compassionate.
Watch out, world. These middle school boys are changing up what it means to be a boy…and a man. Their regard for different races, religions, genders, sexual orientation, and ethnicity are going to make big changes. And that fills my heart with hope. It’s a a hope that will fill our world, too.
I can think of several men who are leaders today who should take note and follow suit.
We are watching. And we are raising boys and girls who will be the next leaders. They will be the change-makers. To all the parents who have boys in our school’s club, thank you. You are raising some fine boys who will grow to be men of integrity and give a whole new meaning to “boys will be boys.”
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