At a party the other night a few women and I were talking about what out husband's would do if an intruder came into our home and were threatening us. A few of the ladies asserted that their husbands would shoot him as quick as possible. I had to admit that I didn't think that Scott would shoot him. I sat for a moment and thought about what my husband would do. Mostly I knew that Scott wouldn't shoot him because we don't own a gun and I can barely imagine that we ever would. I spoke after awhile and thought that Scott would probably talk my assailant down and then try and pin him. Something he is capable of doing, and he would hope that I would call 911 in the scuffle. Which I probably would.
One of my favorite pictures of masculinity is one of Scott. One day Miriam and I adopted a kitten, we brought her home and set her up in the bathroom. When Scott came home, he was wearing a t-shirt with the arms cut off, a summer of working outside had puffed up his muscles and tanned his skin, he went right away to see the kitten. I remember watching him pick up that kitten. The look on his face of tenderness contrasted with his appearance. That to me was a picture of strength.
Earlier today I was thinking about the look that some fathers get on their face when they hold a brand new baby. There is this look of joy and tenderess mixed with awe. I think that men hold awe for young children because they watch the whole process of childbearing and birth and can only passively participate. There is a wonderment in that it actually happens. For women a newborn baby is no mystery, we know exactly where it came from, still miraculous, but not mysterious.
I think to me that is the picture of masculinity that I hold close to me, not of men wantonly killing because they can, or gladiators cutting people down with swords, but of men who know their strength full well, and know when to use it. Men who can hold a baby and cherish the miracle it is but also protect their wife and child.