Friday, November 16, 2007

Cowboy Geek

My last serious posts had to do with raising daughters and how that is different from raising sons. While writing those posts, I was thinking lots about my son. I don’t post as much about him as I do Jes, but then he does not live with us. I post about his children all the time - does that count? Most of you feel like you know Jesse, but you probably don’t know Bo very well. Maybe I should tell you a little about him.

I was twenty-one when Bo was born. Toby and I were going to college in San Marcos, TX, at the time. We were just babies ourselves. We lived in the married housing near the river. Money was tight, but times were good. We took Bo with us everywhere we went because we did not have money for babysitters. I have great memories of setting his baby-seat on the pool table at one of the local pubs where Toby and the other construction workers went after work. Toby and I took turns going to class and staying home with Bo. I would often put Bo in our cheap garage sale stroller, walk down to the bus stop, and catch a ride up the hill to campus to meet Toby and walk home with him. The college kids love it. Bo was six months old when Toby graduated, and we moved to Dallas where Toby went to work for Texas Pacific Oil (Sun Oil). A big treat was to pack Bo and his diaper bag with picnic stuff, take the stroller to the city bus stop, and ride to downtown Dallas to have a picnic with Toby. We had an old Dodge truck with a car seat that would make mothers today cringe. Bo sat between us doing whatever we did, going wherever we went. He was just easy or maybe we were all just too young to know better.

We always treated Bo like a little adult, and he always acted like one. He loved being part of the pack. He loved to study and read - maybe because that is what Toby and I did. He was a sponge when it came to facts and statistics. He was the kid everyone could rely on and trust to do right I often called him The Little Professor, Mr. Gadget, Mr. Statistics, or my cowboy geek. He is still that same person. He is steadfast and unmovable. He is a rock for his family.

There is also the part of Bo that is fiercely competitive. Whether it is sports or some game, Bo wants to win. Hmm, I don’t know where he got that. He was on the ski team in Red River and was a calf roper in 4H, but it was soccer, baseball, football, and basketball that he loved. While going to OK State, he lived in the honors dorm with the other nerds. He organized their intramural teams and often coached them. We teased him about it, because it didn’t take much to be the best in sports when you lived with a bunch of band nerds. When he was picked to shoot baskets for prizes during half-time at an OSU basketball game, I pictured Niles from the show, Frazier (Bo shot five baskets in 30 seconds and won lots of prizes). Yep, we tease him often, and he is good natured about it, because he is the biggest tease of all - fortunately he is married and can tease his wife rather than me and Jes.

A couple of things about raising a son: I remember watching him play football with the other kids in RR. He was so competitive and rough, I could hardly watch. So I didn’t. I had to let him be a boy. Sometimes before Toby left for work, he would give Bo a list of things to do. I often thought Bo was not ready for some of the things Toby had him do, and I either did them for Bo, or didn’t let Bo do certain things. Toby took me aside and said, “Stop it. I give him those things to do for a reason. He can handle them. Leave him alone.” That was really tough on me, but trusting my husband to know what was best for Bo was the right thing. Toby knew what Bo needed to become a man who would work and have integrity. Women want to nurture and protect their loved ones. I have seen this in other women with sons, and I have seen husbands give in to their wives (not good). I am glad Toby was wise in the ways of men. Bo can be the big nerd who loves to read, play on the computer, and fiddle with gadgets, or he can do mechanic work on his car and be a tough competitor in whatever sport he wants. He is willing to try anything that needs to be done. I love the way he just puts his head down and does what ever needs doing.

I love seeing him with his daughters. He wrestles and plays sports with them. They are rough and competitive like him (yet sweet and feminine like their mother). I am sure they will be nerds. A few weeks ago, Bo and I were watching GBN 1 climb the horse trailer. Bo asked, “Do you think she will make it?” I answered, “If she can get one more hold, she will be on top.” Bo showed no fear, he let her climb, and she was fine. I am very proud of him.


Shelly said...

Sounds like you did something right. Just look at the grandkids he has created..

Buck Pennington said...

I agree with Shelly. I only know what I know...which is what you tell us...but Bo sounds like quite the man.