Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Raising Boys

I think my new favorite website is www.scarymommy.com.  A friend posted an article this morning from the site and I found myself going back several times today.

This particular article hit home:  http://www.scarymommy.com/category/raising-boys/

When my husband and I started planning our family, I always envisioned two kids - a boy and a girl.  I thought it would be perfect.  We didn't want more than two - we needed to be able to tag team them (I grew up in a five-kid family; my parents didn't know what hit them).  Fast forward to going through my first pregnancy, we had no idea what the sex of our first child was.  At 18 weeks during my first ultrasound, we asked if we could find out.  We lived in a small apartment and we wanted to know how we could start planning.  Needless to say, there would be no finding out the sex.  Our future child's ass was promptly facing out.  That's all we saw.  Kind of a "kiss my ass mom and dad" view.   At 40 weeks, there was no hope in sight.  I thought I was going to be pregnant forever.  At 41 weeks and one day, we did another ultrasound.  This time, the doctor offered up the option to find out.  Ummmm, no.  We waited this long, we can wait a few more days...unless of course I was never going to give birth, then I wanted it out at that very minute.  Five days later, a bouncing baby boy was born.

Fast forward four years and we decided to try for another baby.  Thankfully, I was able to get pregnant relatively fast.   At 19 weeks, and my first ultrasound...we were eager to find out.  My husband and his friends from work had a bet going.  They all believed he was having a girl, since the wives of four guys he worked with were having five (one set of twins) girls.  They were convinced it was in the water.  This time we were able to find out.  I crossed my fingers and hoped that whatever we had would be healthy...and convinced myself that that is all that mattered.   We found out we were having a second boy.  In all honesty, we were happy with that. We live in a small(ish) house, and if we were pregnant with a girl, there would be a move in our near future.   After we left the doctors appointment, my husband promptly called the guys at work and beamed (gushed, laughed, screamed) that we were having a boy and that they owed him a soda, or ribs; I can't remember exactly what the bet was.  For a split second, there was some disappointment, because I always thought I wanted a girl.  Then I realized that I wouldn't make a good mom for a girl.

I grew up as a tomboy.  The neighborhood boys can attest to that.  My three brothers can attest to that.  And my sister, who was a tomboy, could attest to that.  There would be playing with dolls; or painting toenails or doing hair.  There would be no screeching girls at sleepovers, or broken hearts (who was I kidding) when the boy they wanted to date was going out with someone else and didn't know she was alive.   There would be no dance lessons, or trying out for cheerleading.

As our boys grew up, we have experienced everything you would think that would come with having boys.  I'm privvy to farts and burps at the dinner table (yes, I laugh...I try not to, but I do).  I have to put up with smelly football and baseball cleats and uniforms that have to be stripped off in the driveway.  I also get to use my boys for their strength, and can get their help when we move furniture, or bring in groceries (testing the theory that you only need to take one trip from the truck) or cut grass or need to wrangle a dog into the yard.

I've been blessed with boys that have gigantic hearts and love with everything they have.  There is nothing better than getting a hug and kiss before bed, or an "I love you momma" text from college.  The relationship a mom has with her son(s) is like no other...no different than a dad and his daughter.  

Our youngest son opted not to go to his junior prom.  I'll admit it; I'm kind of heart broken.  I didn't go to my prom...I hung out with friends, then went to coronation and finished out the night drinking (I don't recommend this).  I wanted to have him have some that I didn't have.  I think it's easier for boys to get away with not going, as opposed to a girl not going.  Had we had girls, there would have been tears.  I don't think I could have handled that.  Instead, he spent the night like any other night.  I anticipate he'll go to one or more dance next year, but if he doesn't that's ok too.  

Our boys have been raised to show their emotions.  There has never been a time where we've told them to hold it in and be a man.  I think by allowing them to express their feelings, they will be better men.  It will take a very special girl to capture each of their hearts.

Getting validation for how we raised our children is always in the back of my mind.  It is definitely nice when you hear from a teacher when they say "what a pleasure it is to have your son in class", or "your son helped so-and-so with her homework", or from a coach or teacher that "your son is very talented in art/chemistry/football/baseball...you should be proud of them".  

I would never trade having boys.  I will take everything gross and scary they do/bring home/try to scare me with, in stride.  They have made me a better mom, because I am able to decipher what they are thinking (yes, sometimes I get in their heads and realize that I don't want to know what they are thinking).  I hope that I have taught them how to love unconditionally and I hope that they will each meet the girl of their dreams, that will learn what makes them tick, and that will love them unconditionally.

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