Raising Boys :: Food = Love


sonic slushy

Sonic Slushy

This is just a little part of  a series about raising boys.  With my four, I made a bunch of mistakes, but I also learned some things along the way.  Hope you find some encouragement here.

Boys need food.  They just do.  Why did it take me so long to figure that one out?  

I wanted conversation, relationship- they wanted a Sonic Slushy and some fries.  Or even a burger.

The whole time I am thinking, didn’t we just eat? Or, are we not about to go home to eat?

But, I think by the fourth boy, I finally figured it out.  Or, at least did a better job.


So simple. But to me, so complicated.

I thought  love = talking, conversation, because that is what LOVE is for me.

But for these boys, food was L-O-V-E,

the door that sometimes opened to conversation.

I say sometimes because I also learned it did not always lead to conversation.  I learned I didn’t need to be yammering in their ears all the time.  Sometimes they would talk.  Sometimes not.  And I had to LEARN to be satisfied with that.  Learn, learn and learn some more.

You see, I have a little problem.  I tend to ask questions and boys, well boys, don’t like those questions.  No. Not so much.

One of my guys told me the reason he didn’t answer me one day when we got kind of cross-ways in the car is because if he answered the one question, he knew I wouldn’t stop.  One question would lead to the next.

I asked him, “Why do you think that?”

Oops – Busted!!

So, I Learned to stop for a Slushy.  A Smoothie.  A Jamba Juice. A Frostie. A little SURSEE for the guy.

No matter the time of day.  No matter if we were about to go home to eat a meal.

No, I wasn’t perfect.  I did not  always do this, but I tried to be intentional in this way of loving them.

Food, glorious food.

Sometimes there were conversations.  Sometimes not.  But they felt loved.

“Thanks, Mom, that was a great,” as we drove home in Silence.

And I would think, “What?  We didn’t talk at all.  What was so great about that?”

But they felt loved. And I felt like I was—- #1 Mom.

What do you do to feed the soul of your boy?  Share the SURSEES you have found.

I just have to give a SHOUT OUT to Sonic and their Happy Hour!  Helped me out many a day.  Woo-Hoo!



  1. Mommallama/Marcia says:

    How true your insure is with boys. I love Zits too
    it’s so right on with boys. In 2004 Diug and Matt
    finally informed me that my label was “Lecture
    Mom”, I will never live that down.
    I still have guilt pangs of things I should have done
    differently, situations I didn’t deal with very well.
    The children grew up and they are all succeeding and
    appearing to be happy/satisfied with life.
    Thanks, you did a superlative job with your 4 sons!

    • You are a great Momma! Your kids are all doing well and I know that you didn’t always do it perfectly, but you did ask for forgiveness and kept on going. Great job! And, oh the food they had at your house-YUM-OH! The great thing is we get to keep on doing this mom thing and asking the Lord how to grow which I know you do, too.

  2. This is so great! My 3.5 year old is already starting to snack us out of house and home! I have been so puzzled by it lately. He loves his snacks and my daughter could care less! So good to remember this as he gets older. Thanks for sharing.

    • We always called snacks “snicky-snacks” when they were little, and I tried to make some of those healthy! Not always, mind you. But, yes, even when they are little guys the food thing matters. Thanks for reading.

  3. Can a non-Mom weigh in, too…as in a Dad? I’ve got 3 things:
    1) My nickname was ‘TMI Dad’, as in Too Much Information Dad. That came from my long-winded answers instead of what (they thought) aught to have been short answers. Trying to be a good parent, I didn’t want to just answer ‘Three!’ to their question, but I wanted them to understand why the answer was three, how it got to be three and not four, and the history of three. I have to admit that most of the time I saw eyes glazing over…but that didn’t stop me from trying. We’ve got to keep trying and doing what we feel is the right thing to do.
    2) Regarding food and that desire for meaningful conversation, Les, that’s what we felt was so important about dinner around the table in the evening. That was our time to hear what was going on in our kids’ worlds. And there was no wandering off from the dinner table…ours was a stay-to-the-bitter-end policy. And of course always having dessert helped toward voluntary compliance with that policy. So, I guess that wasn’t a bitter end after all, but a sweet end!
    3) And lastly, if you haven’t seen ‘Defending the Caveman’, I highly recommend it for understanding us boys and our lack of communication. Hilarious insights; starting with us hunter guys having to be very quiet as we went out together to stealthily kill the mastodon, while the women were gathering berries in their skirts and having a grand time talking and sharing together. If we talked and shared, no one ate!

    • Of course Dads can weigh in, love the insight. We all love your TMI speeches and my kids think you are the greatest and know just about everything! We also held the Dinner Table Hour as sacred and really tried to all eat together. Dessert was also a big reward for the hour. I have not seen the Caveman show, will put on Craig and my list to attend.

  4. Love this! Since my boy is only one now, I have years ahead of me at the Sonic Drive through. So happy to know about this though so I can skip all the attempts at communication without first having some food in hand.

    • You do have years ahead of you at the Sonic. You also have years ahead around your breakfast, lunch and supper table! Joy!

  5. Thank you , thank you! I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to read that it wasn’t until #4 that you started to get it. As an only girl, my world of boys sometimes seems more foreign than not and while I know they like/need to eat I can’t quiet fathom the why & how often! I’m going to put up a reminder for myself, that feeding them is just another part of loving them.

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