As I start out with this new blog about raising boys, I scouted around the net and quickly found a host of interesting articles and perspectives. Never one to turn down an easy imitation, here are few excerpts:

Dancing Gecko

Photo by Chi Liu

Boys to Men by Tony Woodlief

Father’s Day, in our house, won’t entail golfing or napping or watching a game. I’ll probably have to contend with some trapped and irritated reptile. There’s that cannon made of PVC that my oldest boy has been pestering me to help him finish. And the youngest two boys are lately enamored of climbing onto furniture and blindsiding me with flying tackles. Father’s Day is going to be exhausting. But it will be good, because in the midst of these trials and joys I find my answer to the essential question on Father’s Day. What makes a good father? My sons.

***

The Best Policy by Tony Woodlief

Isaac is standing outside the door of a bedroom in our undisclosed vacation spot. He is clutching a pillow like it is a club. He is trying to coax his brother Eli into opening the door. “Open the door Eli! I’m not holding anything!”

Much as I appreciate his attempt at stealth, it doesn’t seem right. “Don’t lie,” I tell him.

He thinks about it for a moment. He knocks on the door again. “Open the door Eli! I’m holding something, but it won’t kill you!”

***

Oldpicture.com

Oldpicture.com

A pretty inspiring poem about the qualities of a man by Rudyard Kipling that I found on an interesting blog Raising Boys.

IF – by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,                                        And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

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