Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Seventies - Part III - Raising Boys

You don't raise heroes, you raise sons.  
And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, 
even if it's just in your own eyes.  
~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.

Often people would ask what it was like in a house full of boys.  It was noisy, messy, relaxed, and entertaining.  If the boys are in sports, so are you. Some weekends we had four games to attend because we also had to attend Michigan's games, tailgates and post game parties. Fall revolved around football, winter was spent in the basketball stadium, spring meant hanging on the track field with a stop watch, and summers were spent on the baseball field.

Boys eat a lot and their friends like to eat, too.  Even though I worked, I cooked dinner every night and they consumed everything.  Sometimes I would rush home from work, start dinner, take boys to practice if it was my carpooling day, return home, finish dinner, and then go back to pick up boys. Around nine o'clock I would announce that the kitchen was closed.

Our boys didn't have a curfew because you felt so safe in Ann Arbor.  If they were out and not coming home, they had to call by midnight so we could go to bed.  Many times when they were with their friends they would just stay wherever they were.  We never knew how many people were staying in our house until breakfast time.

We never had a set bed time or many rules.  You could stay up all night, talk on the phone as long as you wanted, but you had to get up on time for school. We thought having too many rules gave them too many opportunities to break them and we wanted them to think for themselves. We stressed leadership instead of following; we stressed giving instead of taking.  They received average grades in school but we were satisfied if they were doing their best.

Our complaints?  Cluttered rooms, funky athletic shoes, dirty uniforms that even Tide couldn't clean, and their fussing over whose turn it was to cut the grass.  We stayed out of that argument.  They had to figure that one out themselves. However, we are really proud of them.

My husband liked to say that he raised 4 children, me being the fourth one. I was so young (17 when we married) that I missed a part of growing up and missed single adulthood all together. I was raised by a single mother with 5 sisters and 1 brother and I didn't know that much about male needs.  I just did my best and thankfully, they were, and still are, fun to be around.

There are times that I regret what I must have missed because my attention could never just focus on one thing. My mind at times was scattered and there are things I don't remember because it was all happening so fast.

To the younger readers, please enjoy your children now.  I still can't believe how quickly it all went.

The Family in 1977
Check out our afros.

We celebrated birthdays on a regular basis.

Moody's 40th Birthday with my girl friend Mary Hamilton in the back.

Sports were really important.

Corey and Cameron played from Junior Football through high school.

Don't forget basketball

Corey was co-captain of the basketball team but went to Morehouse on a track scholarship.

David played football in high school and for Morehouse College.

Son, you outgrew my lap, but never my heart.  ~Author Unknown


  1. Another wonderful post! I also had 3 boys and I can SO relate to the funkiness of all clothes athletic. The boys were fun and I loved eavesdropping on the conversations when it was my turn to carpool them with their friends. This brings back great memories.

  2. Yes, there is nothing like 3 boys in a house. I forgot the conversations, so unlike the conversation of girls.

  3. I grew up in house full of girls. Then I had daughters. So, being around that many guys at once would be foreign to me. Sounds like a lot of fun.