When Big Man was born, I could hear the pride in Spouse’s voice as he announced we had a son, despite the facts Big Man was devastatingly early, weighed only 2 pounds, looked more like a baby bird than a human baby, and had a very long battle ahead of him. I guess there is just something about a man having a son. Once we got past the NICU, and brought him home, I could only wonder how I was going to manage mothering a boy. I hate dirt. I hate bugs. I’m not what you would call and outdoorsy type. I don’t play baseball, football, or basketball because I’m afraid of being hit by the ball (okay, so it goes a bit beyond fear to completely terrified). I am a girly-girl. I like things clean and ordered. I do not do messy well. But God saw fit to give me not just one, but two boys to mother. And I am darn sure He is up there laughing at me on a near-daily basis.
I have learned so much from my boys. I think I am a much better person for having them. They have helped me learn to laugh more at myself, and to be less self-conscious. While I still do not embrace dirt, I have learned that it has its place. I have watched as they spent hours digging in, throwing, and piling up dirt. I have watched as they spent hours watching a spider build a web, or followed a slow-moving snail (which they then proceeded to pour salt on). I have watched as they spent hours building something just so they could destroy it. I don’t always get what they are about, but I have learned to slow down and appreciate. I still don’t do bugs, snakes, or lizards, but can patiently wait while they explore.
Our house is louder than houses without boys. Not to say that there aren’t days I wish it were more peaceful, but you learn to make it background noise. It is what it is. And I love every minute of it. They are non-stop, and will run til they drop. I love watching them sleep because not only do they look like little angels when they’re asleep, but it is such a contrast to the messy, loud, fast-moving little men they are during the day. In our house, anything and everything can and will at some point become a sword, laser, or gun. Anything and everything can and will be used to build something or other. Tables, beds, and chairs become forts. It is not unusual for me to look in the cabinet for a blanket only to discover the boys have confiscated all of them to build an elaborate fort in one or the other’s bedroom. In our yard, you will frequently find the remnants of a Bionicles or green army men battle (one of our trees still has a number of green army men hanging in it – I giggle every time I find another one).
I understand men a little bit better because of my boys (men are just big boys for the most part – well, at least the ones I know). And I realize that one of the biggest parts of my job in mothering boys is to make them gentle men. I need to help teach them how to treat girls and women. I need to help teach them how to be good husbands. That’s a pretty big calling. But honestly, I think it’s my favorite part.
I am so proud of both of my young men. I am so thankful God chose me to be their mom. While it may sound like I think mothering boys is easier than mothering girls, it isn’t. It’s just completely different. I think I am more terrified of getting it wrong with the Princess than I am with the boys. Big Man and Little Man were much harder on me when they were toddlers. It’s easier with them now than it was then. Maybe because I’m laughing with God at me dealing with boys.