Thoughts From an Almost Boy-Mom
Upon first discovering that I was carrying twin boys, I was over the moon. What mama wouldn’t be? I’d always heard there was something special that mama’s and little boys share.
Then, my mind began to wander and I became consumed with doubt. Am I capable of raising a bunch of boys…?
This may sound odd and it really has nothing to do with the normal concerns of raising boys (one of those concerns being keeping them out of the ER).
Truth be told, boys have always been foreign to me. I grew up with two sisters, one older and one younger. My cousins that were boys did not live close or were much younger than we were. In school, I gravitated towards friends that were girls. My entire childhood was American Girl Dolls, tea parties and ballet. Video games? Sports? Forget it.
The closest I came to being a “tom boy” (does anyone use that phrase anymore?) was camp outs or hunting trips with my dad. Even then, you couldn’t catch me on a four-wheeler without my pearl earrings.
So, as a girl, I never attempted to have friendships with boys because I literally didn’t know how to approach them. What would we even talk about? I didn’t think they’d care to know that I just got matching socks for my Samantha doll’s school uniform.
In high school, when other girls on the dance team would talk sports with the players, I would be SO self conscious because what the heck is a three-pointer and which ball has to go where to get those points? When we were in the stands, I’d wait for other people to start cheering and then I’d chime in because I was ignorant to the rules or calls of sports. You have no idea how many times I’d hear cheering, so I’d cheer, and then have evil eyes fall on me because that wasn’t our side cheering…
I was in an all-girl sorority and all-girl dance team in college. I followed my dreams and received a degree in teaching, a profession predominately occupied by women.
So, with this being said, little boys scared me. I’ve been scared that I wouldn’t understand them or that we wouldn’t be able to connect. I don’t know a lot about boy hobbies or boy things. I grew up in a very girly environment. I am drawn to girly things. When I’m building their registry, I find my eyes wandering to bows and ruffles. It’s what my brain is programmed for. I ran all my nursery ideas through Jimmy first, out of fear that I’d make it too “feminine”.
The only assurance I have that I can do this “boy-mom” thing is because of the practice and exposure I had while teaching. This is where I discovered how different (and similar) little boys and little girls can be.
For instance: fights. When my little girls fought, I was confident. I could handle that. I knew they wouldn’t get over it immediately and I knew that it was possible that their friendships might end. I knew they would use their words to cut each other deep because I’ve had those same encounters with girl friends and sisters. I knew we’d need to sit down and talk. I knew each girl would need to share her side and add in a few details that may or may not be an exaggeration. There would be lots of tears and the dramatics were turned all the way up.
No one prepared me for watching my boy students blame someone for cheating at a game, get called a sore loser, a possible punch thrown, a frown, then a laugh. That’s it. They’re already over it. What? My girl brain could not make sense of this. Anytime they did fight, and it was serious enough to bring it to me, we’d have a talk. Each guy would share his side. Each would agree that they did something wrong. I’d say, “shake hands like gentlemen,” and that was it. Easy, y’all.
But little girls and boys are not so different in other ways. Each need a hug and a band aid when they fall off the jungle gym. Both need a safe space to share what’s happening in their head and in their hearts. Both stare, mouths gaping, when I read a very good story.
And so maybe I can do this. I’ll teach them things and they’ll teach me things. I’ll connect with them because I love them. So much already that it hurts. Maybe we won’t have tea parties, but we can always do picnics outside. Maybe I won’t be passing down my American Girl dolls to them, but Legos and trucks can be very fun, too. I will learn (and have to be okay) that roughhousing is something little boys need (research shows) and expectations will be set by their daddy. I can play in the dirt and accept that their clothes will always have stains.
I’m trusting that God would never bless me with something He hasn’t prepared me for. I know I am not alone in raising them and they will have one heck of a man to look up to. I am trusting that this “boy mom” thing will come naturally and will no doubt be one of the greatest joys I’ve known.