Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Mom of boys

This is a hard post for me to write, because I'm going to have to admit some secrets that I'm not really sure how people will take, but I'm also going to give some advice to people because somethings need to be said.

In my youth I played with all sorts of girl toys and lego. But the way I played lego and the way a boy would play lego were vastly different.  I made houses and cities, they made guns.  I made families and used the little two blocks as imaginary people because then you could make more people.  I played video games in my youth as well, Mrs. Pac Man, Mixed Up Mother Goose Rhymes, Kings Quest, but they were more strategical then killing stuff.

I also played a variety of sports, volleyball, basketball, figure skating, baseball.  But at 15 I stopped all sports, not because I wasn't interested but because I was working and didn't have time. My new sport was learning how to drive.

At 19 I was a girly girl.  I got my hair coloured and cut, I even had gel nails a time or two.  I was into fashion and loved to help my friends do their hairs and get dolled up for our evenings out.  I knew how to play girl games like Barbies, My Little Ponies, I still had some of my toys from childhood.  I had books that girls will love, I had movies that girls would love, I was a girls girl through and through!!

So 16 years ago I had my first son.  And my life changed drastically, for one I was a teenaged mom, for two I was a mom of a BOY.  Aside from my baby brother, who was 6 years younger than I was boys were a bit foreign to me.  Not like I didn't know about boys, but I really didn't know what boys were like as babies or as young children so I was very overwhelmed with having a boy!! What would happen if I had to raise this child on my own?  Honestly, I had no idea what I was doing, and when I found out he was a boy I was terrified and bit heartsick. I had hoped for a girl, I experience so much shame when I say this because I should never have hoped for a girl, because I wouldn't have my son now if I'd had a girl and that would be horrible!! But the honest truth was I knew what to do with a girl, I knew how to dress a girl, what toys to buy a girl, how to cut and style and girls hair, girls were familiar, and boys were alien.  I also had a sick dread that my son's dad and I would not last (one that came true, not surprising) and how was I, this girly girl, going to raise a boy into a man?? So having a boy was even more terrifying then just having a baby.

I think I resolved myself to do the best that I could.  I loved my son, unquestionably, and there was nothing I wouldn't do for him.  I watched for cute clothes for him, I learned how to style his hair for his hair type, I even learned how to play video games with him and kept him involved in different sports, basketball, swimming, soccer etc.  I learned which toys he really liked, I came to accept turning lego into guns as a norm, and that he didn't really care for the Princess Disney Movies.  I learned and appreciated that my child loved animals, animals of all kinds, from the smallest little pet rodents to lizards to dogs to cats, though, most caused him allergies, he still loved them.  My son taught me that boys were different but they weren't that scary because their differences weren't that far off. The learning curve didn't turn out to be a steep as I had feared.

Boys are louder than girls, every one of my boys so far has been louder than their girl counterparts.  They just play louder, it's all about crashing things, blowing things up.  Even Chandler, who has an old Man's soul, is louder than others.  Boys rarely play quiet colouring games, or board games. I have adjusted my volume tolerance because boys just don't have inside voices until they are a little bit older, even their whispers and more stage whispers for the whole world to know.

And it's been a journey. I can't be lazy, because my boys are active. I can't frown on video games and push colouring books. I have to accept that car chases and arrest will be made with the bathtub toys.  I understand that the boys look to their dad for shavings and girl advice (which is silly because who knows more about girls than their mother).

With each of my pregnancies I had wanted them to be girls.  I am beyond happy with the boys I have because they are amazing little men who will grow to make any woman happy to be with them, but I had held out hope for a girl.  And to some this may seem selfish and that's ok, because I would never trade any of my boys for a girl, but I would have been thrilled if any of them had come out a girl.  It's so hard to express this without sounding ungrateful, because I am totally grateful for what I have, but I've had to let a dream go. I've had to put it in a little balloon and send it up to the heavens because I won't be a mom of a girl.  I am a mom of boys and I am so proud.

As a mom of boy lot's of people ask me if I'm going to try again, it I'm going to try for that girl.  I know they don't mean anything by it, but it's like ripping the bandaid off a wound each time I'm asked.  After three children and 16 years of being an active parent I'm ready to put in the closing chapters of this area of my life.  So when I'm asked if I'm going to try again, for a girl I get sad, because I know I'm not and it's like people think my boys aren't enough for me that I'm not a complete parent until I've had a girl. I get that that's not their intention, I get it, but it's hard not to internalize that.  Besides after three boys I'd be blessed with a fourth boy anyways.



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