Thursday, 26 January 2012

Holding hands

Image from here
We went out for a little bush walk with some friends this afternoon (between rain showers!) before indulging in a casual Australia Day BBQ.

Nugget and his friend were deep in conversation throughout the walk. Talking at length about the latest Lego offerings, with some Harry Potter plots thrown in. They are two peas in a pod and have been the easiest company for each other since they both got past the parallel play stage.

My friend and I were walking along behind them and they started holding hands. They didn't miss a beat with their chatter. We exchanged a smile. How lovely it is that they do what feels good. A moment of solidarity and connection brought on by a shared experience.

It is such a shame that men in our society are not really 'allowed' to do this. My friend and I discussed this as we wandered along proudly behind our boys. We reflected on countries we have discovered in our travels (like the Solomon Islands) where men do hold hands and connect as women in our society do. Why can they? Who says they can't here?

It will be such a pity when these little boys grow up to be men and lose the ability to connect in this way. They might get away with a bro-hug upon greeting, but in all likelihood it will be handshakes and slaps on the back all the way.

When do little boys become big boys? Why can't men in our society show affection towards each other?

17 comments:

Penny said...

My 4yo son told my 2yo son he loved him on the phone today. I hope that never ends.

Jen R said...

What a beautiful moment to witness, agree I think Men would be more happy and open up in their feelings if they felt they could show their love for their mates!

Toni said...

If you ask men, though, they would mostly tell you that they understand when there's affection between friends very well. The way they express it doesn't matter to me as much as the fact that it's there.
I don't mind that my grown boys wrestle or call each other names or push each other in the pool -- it's no less affectionate than if they hugged.
As long as they're capable of forming loving relationships, and keeping the ones that matter, I think they're doing fine.

Maxabella said...

I'm trying to remember the last time I held hands with a friend... x

Mama of 2 boys said...

Ooo I do like this post, very much. Hubby and I have discussed this before. We're actually quite fascinated by the ability of certain cultures, to openly and freely express affection with the same sex and not be labelled as gay etc... I love the genuine, spontaneous affection between my boys and their male friends. Angus will always hug his male friends with the exact same fervour he displays for his female friends. It really makes my heart melt and I'll be very sad the day this changes or is viewed by them as being weird or unnatural. I love the idea of Nugget and friend discussing lego offerings. What a splendid time of life :o) xo

Coal Valley View said...

Oh that's just gorgeous! I hope it lasts longer than it probably will. I notice that my 5 year old boy goes in for the big hug with some of our older male relatives who have started doing the whole "shake hands buddy" in return :-( But they will still hug the 3 year olds. So I reckon it's up to our hubby's to model some bloke-hugging behaviour which is tricky. My hubby will hug his dad when he sees him but not his mates!

InkPaperPen said...

Gorgeous image. I know that men hold hands in Korea and men share a kiss on each cheek in Spain. It's a shame our kids have to unlearn so many lovely qualities. Especially the qualities that obviously feel very natural to them. x

Mum on the Run said...

Just beautiful.
It's sad when our instincts get 'corrected' as we grow.
:-)

Jaimee Hunter said...

hubby dearest, to all outside of our little family of three, is the epitome of man's man...no emotion, gruff, tough. I think Darling Daughter and I are the only ones who see the inside where he cries at sentimental shows and when I read him my blog posts. He says it's because we make him safe. I guess it really is true that behind every great man is a woman who helped him get there. You are that great woman for your men.

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Oh yes! I love the affection that men in other cultures show to each other - the kisses and hugs in France, Italy and Spain are just joyful. A handshake doesn't quite have the same "OH! I am thrilled to see you!" effect does it?

What a beautiful moment for your boys. x

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Sorry, my comment came up twice!

danneromero said...

I've often wondered the same thing, mum. Why can't men show affection without harassment? And as a mom of a gay son it is even a bigger question for me.

Nat - Muddy Farmwife said...

Really interesting post. As I have 3 girls before a boy I'll be interested to watch the difference as they grow. My girls holds hands with friends all the time, I hope my baby boy does the same.
How lovely for Nugget to have a close friend he feels comfortable with and can share lego offerings with.

Miss Pink said...

I am realising more and more my big boy, Bluey, isn't so big once out there amoungst his peers. He is affectionate and happy to play kids games.
So many of his friends are extremely different. One of his friends calls him a baby because he plays with toy cars. They're 5 and 6! What the heck else to 5 and 6 year olds play with? I thought toy cars were something that kinda grew with your imagination.

I worry often that there isn't a friend out there for him that won't judge him, that will play whichever game he likes even if it's silly or "baby" just as he plays their games.
Boys are a whole different breed to us girls. I am learning this slowly and it makes me feel like an inadequete parent. Do I push him to grow up or keep letting him grow at his own pace?

Megan Blandford said...

So beautiful!

Tricia said...

Love love love :-)

I love watching my daughter be physical with her friends. Holding hands, cuddling, and even nuddie trampoline jumping.

Wouldn't we all be a whole lot happier if we continued to be that affectionate throughout out lives.

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