Tiny fingers turn white as they press against the heavy glass of the door.
“I do it mysellph.” His voice is full of determination and grit.
Struggling, he pushes, elbows locked forcing the door out of his way. A lady behind me giggles in amusement at his feeble, full-hearted attempt. Struggling, he finally gets it open pushing it to its max.
Turning, he pushes his back on the door, holding it in place. His big, blue eyes lock on mine.
“Here you go, Mommy.” Using his body as a doorstop, he waits until I walk through then steps away from it.
“Thank you, Asher. You are such a gentleman.” Pride beams across my face.
Nodding his head once, he takes my hand. “Yep. I am.”
We walk hand-in-hand to the car.
Already, not even three years old, my son is innately aware of his duty as a gentleman. He rushes ahead of me to open doors for his mama whenever possible. Part of it is borne out of his obstinate disposition, I’ll admit, but another is that of knowing his place in the world as a man. And as his mama, I endeavor to raise him not only to be a man, but to be a gentleman.
In a world where treating a lady is squashed by ‘women’s rights’ and ‘you have to earn respect’, my son will know that a gentleman opens the door because it’s the considerate, courteous thing to do. Women can fight all day long for equal rights, but at the end of the day, we all appreciate the kindness of a gentleman.
That little gentleman who opens doors for those ladies will also remove his hat when we eat at a restaurant, enter into church, or during the Pledge of Allegiance because it’s a sign of respect. He will not hide his face behind the shade of its bill because I want him to find confidence in who he is, presenting himself before the world as I have raised him to do.
He will say “ma’am” and “sir” not because of the age of whomever he addresses, but because it is courteous. It reflects a respect of people who, regardless of their worthiness of it, will receive it simply because it is proffered. He will respect his elders because it is the right thing to do.
Antiquated as these idea may be, my boy will be set apart in a world full of men. He will be not just a man, but a gentleman demanding respect from others not by words- but by his own actions.