Friday, March 6, 2009

Being a Mother of Boys

I grew up with one sister, Khristine, who was fives years younger than me. Our parents divorced when we were very young, so for several years it was just my mom, Khristine, and me. When my mother eventually remarried, she married Rich who had three daughters from a previous marriage. Consequently, we did not have lot of experience with boys. I definitely came to my own marriage with preconceived notions about men and boys. Now, after nearly 25 years of first-hand experience as a wife and mother, I've learned a few things about the male species. Here are a few of the lessons learned: First, boys have a ton of energy! And if they have the opportunity to expend that energy, all is well…but if not, you may just get a ball through your window! The picture above was taken just a few days ago. Spencer is banned from basketball for six months because of shoulder surgery; however, that doesn’t stop him from dragging Ryan all over the countryside to play Frisbee golf, ride bikes, or shoot hoops. Second, I’ve learned that men and boys are very tenderhearted- they just hide it well most of the time. They might have a gruff outside at times, but they have a very soft inside. The trick is to tap into that tenderheartedness. Third, men and boys take pride in being strong, muscular, and manly. At our house, the boys are very proud of their facial hair. I cannot count how many times one of the boys has said, "Look mom, how do you like my new beard?" I ooh and ahh no matter how insignificant the tuft of hair on his chin might be. Praise a man on his muscles ("guns") or strength, then watch him strut around like a he's on top of the world. Fourth, good men get better with time. I am seeing this unfold with Curt. Those rough edges have been knocked off over the years, probably from enduring being married to me, and now what’s left is a kind, considerate, unselfish, loving, and patient man. Fifth, boys love their mothers. I never knew the bond with my sons would be so strong. Boys rely on their mother in quiet ways, not wanting to seem dependent, but needing her love all the same. For me, the relationship with my boys has been worth enduring dirt tracked through the house, Legos spread everywhere, dirt clods in the neighbor’s pool, broken windows (too many to count), and dirty socks tucked under the sofa cushions. Lastly, boys are just, plain fun to have around! I love being a full head shorter than Spencer, but still having the power to make him take out the trash. I love watching him get up from a complete meal, walk over to the fridge, gaze in, and look for something to eat. I love watching Ryan follow in the footsteps of three amazing big brothers. I love watching Tyler treat Natalie with such tenderness. I love counting down till August 13, when Jordan will be home!! I love watching Curt interact with his sons, whether he’s shooting hoops with them, or teaching them how to fix the car. I love being the mother to four fine boys, and the wife to one wonderful husband.

I'm lovin' that outfit, Ryan!

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