Traditional Boyhood, by Mark Strohm, Jr.
When it comes to traditional boyhood,
somehow we lost our way.
Gone are boys who cut
themselves whittling wood
on the front steps and while
mom bandages them they beam
with confidence over their new skill.
Gone are boys running home crying
because they were not chosen
in the pickup ball game but learned
practice until good enough.
Gone are boys who fought
over a found “treasure” in
the woods returning home with
with scrapes and bruises from a fight
and found parents who didn’t take sides
but sat the boys down to teach
them how to work things out.
Gone are boys who got their bb gun taken
away for not following Dad’s rules and
cried when all the rest of the boys went
down to the creek to shoot soda cans.
Gone are boys lost in reading great classic
adventures shared by generations
Gone are boys sitting on Dad’s lap,
head on his chest sharing about
a wonderful day in the woods by the brook.
Gone is a boyhood of past generations.
Gone too are young men who don’t mind rolling up
their sleeves and working hard even if it requires
them to get dirty and who will gain self
respect by completing the adventure.
Gone too are young men who are prepared
for cuts and bruises in life and who will learn
new skills through adversity.
Gone too are young men who didn’t get the job
but through determination learn the skills and
gain the experience to get hired.
Gone too are young men who learn how to respect
differing opinions and positions and have learned
how to work through issues even when not easy.
Gone too are young men who respect guns and weapons
and understand there are consequences when misused.
Gone too are young men who love and know
how to read well and through great literature
have developed a bond with generations past.
Gone too are young men who delight in sharing
with others and developing close bonds with loved ones.
Gone too are young men who are guided by an inner compass
following a code of conduct found in a faith larger than them.
Gone is a boyhood of past generations, but
gone too is the manhood of past generations.