I sorta half-jokingly refer to myself as a “woolly mammoth.” I’m proud to sport a fuzzy goatee. I’m proud to display my skull shirts and my Ozzy stocking cap. I’m proud to say I’ve been a fan of hard rock and heavy metal for over 40 years.
But I am also a patient, peace-loving husband, dad and grandpa. I delight more in reading my grandson a story than I do going to a metal concert.
That being said, however, I’ve seen Black Sabbath in concert twice. I’ve also seen Korn twice, along with Alice Cooper, Motley Crue, Rob Zombie, Iron Maiden, Marilyn Manson, Slipknot and on and on.
Contrary-wise, I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
My son is attending college and is the most kind-hearted, encouraging and soft-spoken young man I know. He has also seen all the above-mentioned concerts with me, and has his own extreme metal band.
I take my grandson to our barn, which is set against the backdrop of our scenic, five acre plot in the country. I show him the coyote tracks and how to fend off wasps. Sometimes he and my son pretend to be cowboys, and other times he asks me to play him “that song with Ozzy and his band where he says ‘OH YEAH!'” (referring to “NIB” by Sabbath).
I also pull him on my lap to watch cartons sometimes. I hug him often, and we’re all teaching him to pray before meals and to treat his mama with respect.
My son-in-law is doing a great job of raisin’ that boy. He’s teaching him the tough and tender of being a man. Ya gotta be able to hold your woman when she’s scared, and sit through chick flicks with her while holding her hand. Also needed, however, is for her to feel fully, 100% safe. The world is an absolutely crazy place, guys, and our women have to KNOW we have their backs.
They have to know we’d fight all Hell just to hold ’em.
I know my daughter feels like that with my son-in-law, and I know my wife feels like that with me.
Ya see, we grow ’em that way around these parts. We need more men who will stand up and protect their family with the same passion they play cops’n’robbers with their sons and grandsons.
Don’t believe the “political correctness” hype. Women appreciate a man who isn’t afraid to cry, but they also need a man who will protect them against a sick and angry world.
I grew up making guns out of everything; broom handles, twigs and even my fingers, and, as an adult, it’s never occurred to me ONCE to grab my rifle from the closet and literally shoot somebody. Playing hard and rough, running and jumping, and pretend-dying from getting “shot” and falling off the couch into a raging carpet-river is not teaching them violence. They already want to play ROUGH, so let them express themselves.
Just don’t let them tear the house down.
In short, let your boys be boys. Don’t try to make them be miniature adults. Teach them to open doors for ladies, sure, but encourage them to rock out to their favorite bands, and to play Cowboys and Indians. I have Choctaw and Cherokee on my mom’s side of the family, so I say that with no disrespect.
Help them grow to be wild, respectful, woolly mammoths, if that’s what they so desire. Men need to express passion in many ways, and if we try and suppress that by always telling them to “settle down” and “be quiet” and “don’t act so crazy,” we’re discouraging them from growing up to be the best men they can be.
I think we need more men like that. At least that’s my take on it.