He blessed me with two sons — which is exactly what I was supposed to have — but I know that he is watching me maneuver the crazy, messy, disorderly world that boys create with a good, hearty chuckle.
Having grown up with two sisters, followed by nieces, let’s just say that I fully expected to have … well, daughters. I’m not exactly a girly-girl but I am definitely not a tomboy either.
Mud and dirt? No thank you,
Sports? As long as it is on TV.
Laid back? Nope, not at all.
So, when my first son was born — a feisty firecracker with a stubborn streak that seemed pretty apparent before he even made his grand entrance to the world (hello, 22 hours of labor and pitocin at levels I don’t even want to think about again. I knew I was in for an adventure.)
When the doctor proclaimed another “It’s a boy” in the delivery room just a mere 29 months later, I recall looking up at the heavens with a prayer, thanking God for delivering me another healthy son and then thinking, “Yep, you are a funny one. This should provide you some serious entertainment.”
While I never could have imagined a life with boys, it is a life that I was soooo meant to live. Years ago, I’d watch “Leave it to Beaver” or “A Christmas Story” and think, “Those poor women, stuck in a house with no other women and … All. Those. Boys. Yikes.”
And yet, here I am, the lone Y chromosome in the house and you could not pay me any amount of money to go back into the past and reverse my destiny.
Boys are loud, boys are messy, and boys certainly keep you on your toes.
Go to any daycare, preschool or playground and watch the very distinct ways that boys and girls play. I know there are exceptions to every rule, and girls have their share of loud and crazy moments, too.
Case in point. Just days after giving birth to his brother, I attended my older son’s preschool Christmas party.
He was 29 months old and one of five other boys in the class. I arrived and the boys were literally running circles around the main table where the party was taking place.
The girls? Sitting quietly at that table, doing the craft assigned to them.
It was that moment — as I watched my sweaty 2 ½-year old and peered down at the infant boy in his carrier, that I came to the swift realization of what my life was going to be like (or perhaps more importantly, what it was not going to be like: Quiet!)
But amidst the chaos, the dirt and the constant noise, I’ve grown to fall in love with the experiences these boys have given me: How to fight like a ninja. Which superhero wins in a fight (Spiderman, in case you were wondering). Just how cool trains and trucks can really be. And, finally understanding just what the term “Momma’s Boy” really means — are just a few of the things I would never have known I were missing, had these two boys not entered my life.
As my children’s social circles expand, having these crazy boys has also given me special friendships with moms living the same situation I am — in a house full of crazy, rumple-haired boys.
Whether you have all girls, all boys or some mix of both, have you found that you find fellow parents in the same situation as you?
Parents with twins, parents with four kids, families with multiple children of the same gender, just seem to find each other — a survival mechanism, perhaps. It makes sense on so many levels.
I made friends when I got my first children — my two Basset hounds; both girls, by the way — because dog people naturally seem to find each other. Fellow Basset food slaves and I always seem to become lifelong friends because they know — as no other dog lover does — the unique challenges and joys of loving the long eared howling Basset hound.
The same, I think, goes for parents of boys. I love the friendships I’ve made with my fellow boy-moms.
Several are raising children the same age as mine — which makes for natural play dates and friendships to evolve for all age groups involved. I’ve been blessed to find friendship with moms of sons in older age groups than mine — and have found those glimpses of what life will be like with college-age, middle-school and children older than mine to be a great sneak preview of what awaits me in just a blink of an eye.
Do I still love my friendships with friends with girls or even no kids at all? Sure do — of course I do — but I do love the sisterhood of friendships that form between women who are raising someone’s future husband!
I think about that responsibility — and know that is why God gave me, the girl who knew nothing about boys at all — two boys of my own to raise.
We get to raise the men of the future — and what could be more important than that? Really, no matter whether you have sons, daughters, or some combination of the two, is there any more important role than parenting these tiny little people toward becoming good adults?
Still, when my 3-year-old asks me “Mommy, are you sad you don’t have a penis?” – in the most serious tone – I’ve been living this life in the boy zone long enough that I answer him “No sweetie, I am thankful to be a girl and to get to be your Mommy” and manage to keep a straight face, looking to the heavens with a wry smile.
And, I’m pretty sure I just saw the heavens wink back.