A few weeks back, I wasn't feeling so crash hot. Sunday morning we woke up for church and I was supposed to be teaching a youth Sunday School class. I felt rotten and Anthony insisted I stay home and he would take the boys to church and teach my class for me. To be honest, he would actually be doing my class a favour as he teaches much better than me.
He got our little men ready and they left waving goodbye and blowing me kisses. I waved goodbye back from the doorway shouting one last;
"Be good for Daddy!!"
The shoe has been on the other foot before and I was the one taking the boys solo and after a big pep talk telling them I needed them to be extra good, they shocked me and were fantastic. I was certain this was one of those once-off miracles.
When they all returned home a few hours later, I tentatively asked how the boys were. Anthony told me they were wonderful. Knowing them too well, I asked what he had bribed them with. Anthony said they had had a chat in the car about behaving well. He expanded upon this by explaining to Tony and Carter that by being reverent at church, they were doing the right thing and the best reason for doing the right thing is simply because it's the right thing to do.
Even though they are 8 and 5, they were able to comprehend this idea that you don't make the right choice out of fear of punishment, or because you want a treat, or because you are following someone else. You do the right thing BECAUSE it's the right thing to do.
Raising men can be a little overwhelming, but I'm pretty fortunate to have a smarty-pants along side me to help. He teaches them to be the kind of men I want them to be.