Guys tend to run away from me.
And that even includes my own family members.
Both of my cousins have all boys, and I don’t get to see them that often, so the five precious little ones were a bit shy at first when I tried talking to them on Thanksgiving. They are all still pretty young–from almost 9 years old to 3 or 4–and so they don’t necessarily remember me all too well from past holidays and whatnot.
But that shyness quickly transformed into something else.
I don’t even know how it all started, but the boys began pretending to be “spies” while I was peacefully watching football near the warm fire. I joined in, and soon I found myself hiding behind corners and trying to surprise attack them before they could do so to me. The next thing I knew, we were all upstairs with foam swords in our hands and beating one another senselessly. (Well, they were hitting me, and I was just using two swords to ward off their ambush.)
After probably too long–we were causing quite a ruckus in the house and possibly got in trouble for running through the kitchen–I finally told the boys that we were calling a truce. One shouted, “I don’t even know what that means!” I explained it and essentially forced them to agree to a truce. Except the oldest. He couldn’t be fooled into peace.
I went back downstairs and plopped myself in front of the game again, but it wasn’t long before I had five or seven (I think some had two) foam swords pounding me on the head and in the face.
Apparently I needed to re-explain the meaning of the word “truce.”
I started telling them I was not going to fight them–I would only support hearts and love. I put my hands in a heart shape, but the boys immediately began attempting to break it with their swords. And then they ran from me when I tried to hug them. So hugs became my new form of weaponry, apparently.
This proceeded for a long time until both sets of boys’ mothers noticed what was going on. They informed their adorable (they are still so cute even when they’re being mean) sons that boys are not to hit girls and that they needed to hug me. Then all five of them, a few begrudgingly, gave me hugs. From that moment, the true truce began, and we were friends again. We were family. They were sweet to me the rest of the evening, let me help them get food and stop a nosebleed, and all willingly hugged me again when I left for the night.
I can’t exactly speak for the boys, but I’m going to, anyway, and say that we were all happier when we were being kind. And I learned a few things from those boys that night:
Love warms the heart. I’m not going to lie, even though the boys turned on pretty much everyone (except for their moms and dads, my aunt, and my mom) and used their swords against my brother, my dad, and my uncle, I still didn’t like being attacked by them. And it wasn’t just because they were messing up my hair. But their hugs were so sweet that they made me forget all about the previous war atmosphere, and when the youngest kissed me on the cheek, my heart melted.
It’s better to know people than show people. When you’re trying to show people that you can outsmart them, you aren’t helping anyone. But, when you’re actually able to talk to people you can get to know so much more about them. It’s hard to have meaningful conversations with others when you both have swords in your hands, and you can absolutely have a deep, quality chat with a young kid–even if it is about desserts.
Love always wins. When the boys were reminded by their mothers that they need to be kind and loving to people, their demeanors completely changed. Love sure won that battle pretty easily. No shocker there.
I’ve said it many times before, and I will never stop saying it: I love love. It’s just such a wonderful thing, and it truly changes the way we make people feel. When we are hurtful to others, it causes hearts pain, and I can’t imagine how it could truly make anyone feel joyous about treating someone else in such a negative way. But, when you love, there’s a genuine warmth that can’t be chilled. Sure, it’s often challenging to love people, but I just don’t see how it can ever be the wrong choice.
Hearts and love, people. Hearts and love.