February 19, 2011
Contributed by guest writer, Bobby

I've often wondered at the apparent joy I see in women when one of their colleagues announces her engagement and shows off her ring, or announces her pregnancy and then brings the baby in for all to see. I've also seen this joy at wedding or baby showers where the festive mood is very much there.

If there were no other differences between men and women except by the way they each react to the above, that alone would say it all. Women, at least to me, seem to delight in sharing these special times of their lives with other women.

I've seen women squeal in delight when told of someone's upcoming nuptials, hearing "Lemme see the ring!! Lemme see!!!" There is a certain amount of quick clapping of hands and hopping about as they try to take a look at the 'rock'. What I see are little girls all excited for one another. Yes little girls...meant in a good sense. I've smiled at these reactions, but at the same time I've wondered about them.

Again, let a woman announce her pregnancy and you'll hear the inevitable exclamations of 'aw!', and, 'really?' Women will surround the mother to be, each asking: when are you due? Is it a boy or girl? Do you know yet??? How does your husband feel about it? And that one lonely voice that laments, "Awwwww....I want one too!"

As a young lad, I had the misfortune of being at home one Sunday afternoon when one of those bridal or baby showers was being held there. A man is not supposed to witness these events, no matter what age; it's like trespassing into the inner sanctum of womanhood. Women have fun at these showers, I have to admit, and the food is great! A lot of laughter and tears, jokes about husbands, sage advice from wives or mothers, the do's and don'ts of marriage...it's all there on stage.

A man on the other hand, has no 'rock' to display to the other menfolk. Even the upcoming event is often announced only in passing by someone that has heard about it from someone else, "So...I hear you're getting married huh? Why the heck would you do that? Hahaha!!" "You'll be sorrrrrryyyyy!!" "Nah...just kidding, congratulations Bud..." Slap on the back. Done.

I suppose to a woman, it may seem as if getting married is no big deal for a man, but she would be wrong. It is a big deal, just as big a deal as it is for his future bride. It's the reaction that is different, nothing else. Men are more reserved in this regard; yet there is a tremendous feeling of pride, a feeling of having crossed over into a part of life that makes a man feel more responsible, more like... his father.

Men may sound, when they speak of marriage at times, as if it were a curse. I happen to like being married. I think I was meant to be married and to be a father. I've never thought it a curse or anything remotely close to it. Sure, it has it's challenges, but what part of life doesn't? If I found myself single again at this stage in life, I would want to get married again. I cannot see myself living the rest of my life without sharing it. So why don't men show their joy and anticipation? I'm not sure. Part of it I suppose is that it just isn't done in our society, or at least it is not expected for a man to react in the same way women do. But even if the same reaction was not seen as odd, it's not a man's way.

Babies. I've had five. Three boys and two girls. A guy at work once said to me, "Three boys huh? I've got three girls." I looked at him and grinned, "John, it takes a man to make a man..." He turned around and went back to work.

Look at the reaction of women when a baby is brought into the room. It is breath taking. The cannot keep their hands off the baby, each wanting to hold the child, delighting in this new life. It is very much a delight. But men? We sit there...we don't jump up to hold the baby or make a fuss. As a matter of fact, when the mother turns to one of the men and asks, "Do you want to hold her?" you can feel the eyes of the ladies in the room bore through him, ready to joke that he's afraid to hold her, that he will be clumsy in trying to cradle her. We become self-conscious. The women watch our reaction and few men disappoint the ladies. Men are not as comfortable holding babies, that's true, but those of us that are, are more comfortable holding them in the confines of our home, in private.

It is not fear of being laughed at, at least with me it wasn't. It was the privacy with my child that I loved. I didn't have to worry about what I looked like holding my child or that others were waiting for me to drop her. There was no chance on earth that I would drop my baby, none, no matter how clumsy I looked. The baby's mother never gave me a second look to make sure I was okay with the baby. I was, and she knew it. I loved holding my babies...and yes, I changed all their diapers without being told to.

I always admired how women just seemed to know how to hold a baby naturally and without seeming self-conscious about it. I admire how happy they are for one another when one is getting married, to see that ring...to know she is pregnant. Women have a knack of showing how important these events are in life, for they truly are important. Sometimes I wish we men could express these joys also, without so much reserve and just let it out. It's true...women are drawn to beauty in life...and they make sure we men know it.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I really appreciated it!

    A suggestion for another topic: Perhaps the author has some insight into what it's like for men to return home from work at the end of the day. How can women best help them reintegrate into the family?




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