Sunday, September 30, 2012

Why I Like Being the Mother of Boys

A few days ago, my younger son announced, "When I grow up, I'm going to have 3 kids. I'm going to have 2 girls and a boy. If I have 2 boys and a girl, I'm screwed."

I don't particularly approve of his word choice, but I had to laugh.

My son has perceived a truth, though. There is something different about boys. I don't mean that boys and girls can't enjoy the same activities. My boys love decorating cookies, and my girl is showing every sign of becoming a daredevil. However, there is something just fundamentally different about the manner in which the boys approach life. This became very clear to me last winter during a ski club meeting. My friend's two daughters were sitting quietly on a bench, efficiently donning their ski equipment, chit chatting about their favorite stuff. Meanwhile, my boys were yelling, "Hey, I have my helmet on -- Hit me in the head!" "Ok, now you hit me in the head!" "Ha, ha! Your turn! Hit me in the head!" "Harder!" The girls just stared at them like they were from Mars.

Even though boys act physically wilder and rougher than girls, there is something that is also sweeter and more tender about them, too. Boys aren't emotionally manipulative. They might be more than happy to fight something out, but they're direct and honest. None of the cattiness or Machiavellian antics that I've watched girls -- even nice girls -- pull.

I think my favorite part of having boys is seeing the way they take care of me. When my older son was about 7, we were playing frisbee, and it kept going into the woods where there were lots of raspberry canes. After seeing me get tangled up in the thorns, my son said, "Oh, no, mom, I'll get it. I don't want you to get scratched!" It was such a sweet gesture from a small boy, but they're protective like that. They're always trying to save me from dangers like brambles and bugs and heights. In their efforts to shield me, I see the budding of men who will watch over their wives and children. It makes me happy and proud.
It's not that I don't love and enjoy my daughter. She's special for different reasons. However, for the record, I just wanted to say that having 2 boys and a girl is not the end of the world. Far from feeling "screwed," I wouldn't have it any other way.


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