The boys in my world these days—not just the ones I raise, but the ones who spend time with my sons—are tender. They are ages three and four and five and nine and ten. They bring stuffed pigs to sleepovers and hold them close. They cry when they learn that their old dog may only have a few months left to live. When they find a fallen baby bird, they suggest we bury it.
The boys in my world still want company as they fall asleep at night. They want a warm body next to them, breathing in the dark.
The boys in my world these days are wild. They rip off their shirts and twirl them in circles before tossing them in the air and running through the yard. They will pee anywhere: off the front porch, in the grass, on the driveway. They also linger in a warm…
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