I went to the Chestnut Drive block party over the weekend. It’s in a lake community in the town where I grew up. I didn’t grow up on the lake, but my best friend (JD’s godmother) did and her family still lives there. The lake has a walking trail and to this day, I still walk the lake. I walked it with my girlfriends in high school. I walked it when I was home on college breaks. I walked it with JD in his stroller—it was fall and leaves crackled under the wheels. We fed ducks. I don’t live in this private community, but all of my parent friends do, so we’ve basically been adopted into the awesomeness that takes place there—namely the block party that had an itinerary chalked on a chalk board + awesome food and booze (we were eating beefsteak at 10:30 PM, ‘nuf said.)
There was a bike race, face painting, tattoos, a messy egg toss, a scavenger hunt and then there was something called “Daddy Douse.” Great. This involved all of the dads sitting on chairs with empty Gatorade bottles between their knees. Their kids were given red plastic cups (think college kegger) and were told to race back and forth from daddy to the kiddy pool, filling their cups up and then filling the G-bottles up—first bottle filled to the brim, wins. What a fun game except JD was the only kid at the block party without a dad. I admittedly did not want to play this game and get all wet, but I was prepared to, until a kind, cute, single man stepped in. “Come on, bud,” he said. “Let’s win this!” JD’s little face lit up and I just watched from afar, a stranger doing more for my son, then his father ever has. It spoke volumes, this simple act. (It puzzles me that my son is closer to the deli guy who gives him cheese than he is to his father.) And JD was sure to get him soaking wet (atta boy!) They came in second place. But they came in first place in the character department.
Single moms, don’t be afraid to let your sons chill with guys. It’s very important little boys being raised by solo single moms get in guy time and the same goes for girls. My friend Matt Logelin was lucky to find Brooke, who takes his daughter, Maddy, for girly- girl days at the nail salon. It’s really special and important for children of single opposite sex parents to connect with their gender and not feel threatened or confused by it. My son is blessed. We have Poppy, Carlo, Bri, my guy friends and friends’ husbands—and then there’s the guy you just met that doesn’t mind playing “Daddy Douse.” Pretty cool!! I’m not saying let your kid wander off with a random dude, but I am saying if a guy and his kids invite your son to play ball at the park, supervise and let the magic happen. I’ve done it and it is magical.
Single moms of little boys, who are the male role models in your sons’ lives? Ever have a “Daddy Douse” situation where a random guy stepped in? Super Nice! Thanks, Mike!
More from me on Babble.com here.
Get the latest updates from Kid Scoop – Like us on Facebook!