Disclaimer: I did receive permission from my son to share this story. I know he’s four, and likely going to regret that decision when he’s fifteen, but he did acknowledge that he was okay with me sharing this with all of you.
We were walking hand-in-hand down the street, strolling with some friends of ours as we took in the sounds and sights of a small-town fall afternoon.
It was idyllic. Picturesque. Like something off one of those puzzles you start and never finish.
And I looked down at him, my sweet boy all blonde hair and blue eyes, and reached down to ruffle his hair. “I love you, kiddo.”
And those sky blue eyes looked up at me with the most adoring look, and I prepared my heart to hear those heart-melting words returned right back to me.
“I just tooted.”
In the most adoring, loveable voice.
I’m not even kidding, friends.
And we all exploded in a cacophony of guffaws and giggles, as he sweetly walked alongside us, satisfied with his level of entertainment.
Listen to me. If you are a female raising males, I salute you.
There is not a boring brick on this road I walk. Each step I take is another, “Wait, what?” or an “Are you kidding?” or a “Did that actually JUST HAPPEN?” I am consistently both entertained and horrified simultaneously, usually in equal parts. And just when I think we’ve entered a peaceful moment, someone starts squirting blood from somewhere on their body.
Like really, do they just have more blood than us girls? How does that even work?
Anyhow, I digress.
This fun and harrowing journey of having two boys has been a God-ordained one. I was raised with all girls. I have one sister, who is many years younger than me. I grew up with my cousins, who are all girls, and have –zero- biological male cousins. As I often say about my grandfather, who had three girls and one boy, and then followed with eight granddaughters, he is swimming in the estrogen ocean. I grew up with girls who played hard but at the end of the day were still girls who cared about girl things. And as the oldest, I did a great bit of caring and nurturing those who were younger than me. I thought I was destined to bear sweet little girls who I could color with and throw tea parties for and share my old dolls with.
So when the sonographer scanned my 19 week pregnant belly and told us, “I think it’s a boy!”, I might have felt just the slightest bit of apprehension.
Scratch that, the most massive amount of absolute fear.
And then my oldest was born, and I was deeply, madly in love. He grew into a sweet toddler boy who adored his momma and all his boyness became less scary. And when my husband and I married and became pregnant with our second, and had that same moment with a sonographer and an exclamation of his male gender, I felt God whisper to my heart all the wonderful things about being a momma to boys, and how I now was in the “Mothers of Boys” tribe.
This tribe does feel a little like a zoo sometimes. We have a lot of wrestling matches, a good amount of potty talk, and a severe lack of privacy. I’ve often chased down a boy running with a bra in hand, with him thinking it is the absolute funniest thing in the world. Well played, son. Well played.
This boy-raising life really isn’t for the faint of heart. You will say things that you never thought you’d say (like many comments about not touching certain body parts that shall remain unnamed) and you will do things you never thought you’d do (like throw yourself down on hard laminate flooring to delight a little boy with a toy gun who has pretended to shoot you with a laser). It really is like living out the cliché, “It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt.” Guys. Someone always gets hurt.
My one-year-old got a bloody lip and a bloody nose from getting off my lap. That takes skill.
But through each harrowing minute, I’ve come to know joy that I haven’t known before. There is someone unbelievably special about a little boy who just wants to snuggle with his momma. How he can go from doing his latest breakdancing moves and pretending to be a ninja, to snuggling up and kissing my cheek in a matter of seconds. The love and adoration I see in the eyes of my boys never ceases to melt me, even if I’m so angry about something.
I love being a boy raiser. I love the madness and chaos, and my prim, proper, ladylike self has even learned to laugh at the gross stuff too.
I wouldn’t trade one minute of this loud, bloody, amazing life.