Having grown up with two brothers, one just 16-months older than me, the other about 16-months younger, I actually got a taste of living in a Man Cave early. There wasn’t a doll I owned that didn’t take a trip on a brother-made boat out onto a pond or hitch a ride attached to the tail of a kite that inevitably ended up strangled in a tree or diving deep into an angry rose bush.
The story of my brothers blowing up my Han Solo action figure with fire crackers is legendary. They didn’t confess to the crime until 20-years later.
My friends who live in “Princess Castles” (the girl equivalent to Man Cave) insist girls can be just as tough on their siblings’ stuff, which I don’t doubt. But there’s something about how boy brains operate:
- “MUST take this apart to see how it works!”
- “MUST find out what happens if I flush this down the toilet!”
For example, loud thumping once brought me racing into my oldest son’s room when he was a toddler. He had dismantled his closet door and was starting to take off the front of a drawer.
But what stands out the most from the Man Cave of my youth is not what I might have lost along the way. It’s what I’ve gained; an older brother I can confide in when struggling with big decisions, like whether to take that job in New York City. And a little brother I can laugh with over the “Lamb Chop” puppet I just sent his beautiful daughter. It’s just like the one that I used to grab my brother’s nose constantly when we were little. (Picture 5-year-old me saying, “I didn’t do it Mom, the SHEEP did!”)
It’s the hope of raising boys who will turn out to be kind, wise and good men, too.
Postscript: For Christmas my youngest gave me a mug with a picture of Han Solo on it. Because he thought it might make up for that Han Solo doll that was blown up so long ago. So thoughtful and sweet! Oh yes, my little guy (eyes tearing up), it does that and so much more.
This has been an actual conversation in the Man Cave. What’s the Man Cave? Read this.