Boy Mom

I have three sons.  I do not have any daughters.  When I was younger I dreamt of having two boys and two girls.  It seemed like the perfect blend.  When the Huz and I discovered we were expecting our first child, I secretly prayed my baby would be a boy. I knew how to care for a baby boy. My mom gave birth to my youngest brother when I was in sixth grade.  I loved being old enough to help with the baby. I changed a lot of diapers, made his bottles and took him on walks and bike rides when he was a toddler. When he was older we played with Legos and Matchbox cars.  Being a big sister was actually like training for my future stint as a mother of sons.

When my oldest was four years old I became pregnant with my second child.  I thought for sure I was having a girl.  My pregnancies were completely different from each other.  I craved different foods, I carried differently and my symptoms were not the same.  I was surprised when they placed Baby Boy No. 2 in my arms, but I also felt relieved.  I had done this before.  This would be easy.

Raising boys is far from easy.  Like my contrasting pregnancies, my sons have completely different personalities.  My oldest son is a responsible, competitive, high achieving mini-adult.  He is highly organized (he won the neatest desk award in sixth grade), he always gets his homework finished and turned in on time, and I rarely have to ask him twice to do something. He doesn't like large group settings and prefers to hang with his close-knit group of friends instead. He is respectful of authority, motivated, mature and self-disciplined.  I truly believe he'll be CEO of a technology company one day.

My middle child is the complete opposite of his older brother.  He is the tornado, the walking hurricane.  He is the risk-taker, the daredevil, and one hell of a talker. He has made lots of friends at school as well as the activities he participates in (Cub Scouts, Sports, etc.).  He loves to be center of attention. He is stubborn, but he is confident.  He knows what he wants and is determined to get it.  This kid is a great negotiator, too. He can talk his way through anything.  I see a career as a lawyer in his future.  Or an actor.  He can be quite dramatic.  He will tell me a story so detailed that I often wonder if the events really happened or if that creative imagination fabricated it.

Almost five years after my middle child was born I became pregnant with Baby No. 3.  Surely, this was my girl, I thought.  I dreamt of braiding hair and buying adorable outfits with pink headbands. Dance class and gymnastics were in my daughter's future. I would share my love of classic literature and we'd wax poetic on Jane Austen, Edith Wharton, and Charlotte and Emily Brontë.  I'd introduce her to my love for The Gilmore Girls and imagined lots of binge-watching in our future.  I pictured watching chick flicks and going shopping, girls weekends and scrapbooking.  Please, be a girl, I thought.

But my third child defied me as he continues to do today. This little tiny human, beautiful and perfect, was exactly the child I was meant to have. This baby completes our family.  He was the calmest baby and hardly ever cried. He loved to be held and rocked, kissed and hugged. He is the artist (he loves coloring, drawing, and painting).  He is affectionate and charming.  He can also be impatient, demanding and he does not like to be reprimanded or scolded.  He's also the peacemaker. When his brothers are bickering and I begin to yell, my little toddler will step in and tell them to stop fighting. A Mother Hen, just like his mama.

I admit that when my third baby boy was placed on my stomach...part of me mourned.  I wasn't sad or angry about having another son. I mourned because I knew I wouldn't have a daughter and I needed time to come to terms with that.

I am a Boy Mom.  This doesn't mean giving up on my dreams, it means redefining them.  I'm the mom who trudges to the baseball diamond every summer and the basketball court each winter.  I'm the mom who plays with Legos and Hotwheels.  I'm the mom accompanying her sons to every Star Wars and Transformers movie.  I know how to use a lightsaber. I'm the mom reading Harry Potter books and the Magic Treehouse series with her boys.  But I'm also reading them Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte's Web, and Little Women. They know Lorelai and Rory and want to live in Stars Hollow.  They've seen Mathilda, Clueless, Now & Then and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

I am a Boy Mom.  I am raising little boys who will one day be young men.  I'm conscious of the books they read, the music they listen to, the shows they watch.  I want them to have good influences and role models. I want them to be strong, confident, responsible, balanced adults.  I want them to be brave but to know it's okay to be afraid.  I want them to know they can cry and show emotion.  I want them to cherish their faith.  I want them to show love and be loved.  I want them to know how much I love them and that I wish them the best in life.  These are same wishes I'd have had for any daughter.

I am a Boy Mom and I wouldn't have it any other way.


Unknown said…
And, by being a Boy Mom, you also have in your hands the ability to teach them how to treat girls. I know you will somedays have the best daughters-in-law ever, because your boys are amazing.
Hedy said…
Great job on this article Dana!!
Dana said…
Chris, you are absolutely right! They are becoming little gentleman indeed!

Hedy, thank you! I’m definitely enjoying writing again. Now that I have a little bit of time it’s becoming easier to get these thoughts down.

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