What Makes a Man? Dirt!


What Makes a Man? Dirt!

Little boys who play in dirt grow up to be big men who play in dirt . . . and I’m thankful for that!

I’m a mom of three boys and three girls. I’m also the mom of a grandson and a granddaughter. We believe in being even-Steven around here.

Two of my boys are grown. My third boy (through adoption) is three years old. Toss him, my six-year-old daughter, three-year-old daughter, and two-year-old grandson into a room together, and we have a ton of fun!

Recently the kids were playing Simon Says, and it went something like this:

Bella (6):
Simon says, “Rub your tummy and pat you head.”
Simon says, “Hop on one foot.”
Simon says, “Touch your nose.”

Alyssa (3):
Simon says, “Gallop like a horse.”
Simon says, “Bark like a poodle.”
Simon says, “Dive like a dolphin.”

Casey (3):

Yes, that is right. There was no “Simon Says” followed by a cute action. Bella looked at him as if he lost his mind. Alyssa just walked away.

My three-year-old son loves dirt, bugs, dump trucks, sand, sticks, ooze, slime, snot, and anything that his sisters deem as disgusting. And, Moms, I am glad for that!

What are men made of? The ability to handle dirt and hard jobs. Jobs most of us women don’t want to do. Just in the last year my husband has loaded and unloaded a moving truck. He’s cleaned gutters, mulched thirty-plus bags of oak leaves, despite the fact I was the one who HAD to have a house with old trees.

He’s changed the oil, fixed the faucet, and installed a new washing machine. He dealt with the mess when our old washing machine (on the second story!) flooded. He cleaned a jumbo-size amount of laundry soap from the carpet (after our son thought it would be fun to dump it out). Basically, John is wonderful about dealing with all the stuff I don’t want to deal with. When anything’s too messy, I depend on John. When anything breaks, I turn to him.

Now, I know not all men are super handy. My stepdad wasn’t. If a handle fell off the kitchen cabinet, it stayed that way. (We just learned other ways to open the cabinet.) Light bulbs stayed burnt out, too. Still, if there was a messy job that had to be done, like chopping wood or cleaning out the fireplace, he did it. In Genesis I’m pretty sure that while Adam was off getting messy with the animals, Eve was getting a tan—after all no tan lines!

Okay, that last line was a stretch, but while men are drawn to messy work, women are often OK with letting them be drawn that direction. It’s funny, though, that the same women who cheer their men on when they change a flat tire later chastise their sons for getting too dirty, yelling too loudly, or making a mess.

I used to be this way–sometimes I still am. (Dirt stuck onto a snotty face still gets to me.) But overall I’m learning that while it’s important for men to be godly, respectful, honoring, truthful, brave, and all those other awesome traits, it’s important for them to be dirty, too. Believe me, if you foster this trait, your future daughter-in-law will thank you some day!

Steps You Can Take

  1. Thank your husband today for getting his hands dirty on you and your family’s behalf.
  2. Next time your son comes in with dirt all over him, don’t chide him—take a more positive stance and ask him what fun he got into!

Daily Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for the men in my life who are willing to get their hands dirty. I pray that you would change my attitude about my son’s tendency to like all things messy and dirty; help me to replace my natural tendency to scold him with a positive attitude.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Resources You Might Like:

Balanced: Finding Center as a Work-at-Home Mom
Bringing Up Boys

This post originally appeared on The Mob Society!

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  1. Love this! This is so true! I remember distinctly one time when my boys were little and they were eating some chocolate pudding. I went into the kitchen for a few minutes – and when I came back, my 2-year-old son had smeared the pudding all over his face and he was making a goofy face at me. At first, I thought I was going to blow my top – but fortunately, I saw the humor in the situation before I lost it. I ran and got the camera instead.

    We can be annoyed by our sons’ behavior or we can be amused by it. Whenever possible… choose amusement! 🙂

  2. Just this past weekend, we were on a camp out. My husband questioned where I had allowed our youngest son to get off to. “He’s over there doing sand angels.” 🙂 I have three boys, and my only rule is that you have to strip down naked and spray off before coming into the house – that rule holds true for my husband as well. I guess it’s a good thing we live in the woods.

    Enjoy the journey – it makes all the difference if you do.

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