Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Life with the Boys

When I found out I was having a third boy in a row, a friend of mine, whose family is composed identically to  mine (oldest is girl followed by three boys), looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, "Good luck!" Her youngest just got home from his mission, so she would know. At the time, I was pregnant and it seemed like it was all I could do just to get to my nap time every day. But, I think I'm beginning to understand a bit of what she's talking about.
Case in Point:
My boys have approximately 4.2 million Hot Wheels (no they are NOT Matchbox cars as Owen will clearly point out with obvious disdain for such an inferior product). They play with these cars not quite every day, but several times a week. Remember Pokemon? Well, it's Bakugan and Beyblades that are the American fascination with Japanese culture now. Trust me, I'm a mom to boys. We have oodles of Tinker toys as well. While you could probably construct cars or Ferris wheels or a tower from these Tinker toys, my boys only construct swords and "fighting rocket ships." We have a few beaded necklaces around the house that have broken and are now whipped around at a frantic pace as slings. We also have a backyard full of rocks that have been thrown in some sort of duel to the death from time to time.
My point being, my boys are a bit obsessed with the idea of fighting in the abstract as well as fighting in real life with each other. So, you would think that when I tell you that Eli had to have three stitches two weeks ago, you would probably guess it was a result of all of the "weapons" lying around our house. That seems to be the logical conclusion, but the truth of it is that he simply fell when he was walking up the stairs.

Yesterday his brother pushed him down with a huge bouncy ball and he braced the fall with his nose and the blood instantly poured out. I thought to myself, "Yep, this is life with boys." Not that girls don't push each other I'm sure, but with the boys the pushing and jumping and overall craziness is not usually done in anger. Owen didn't push Eli because he was mad at him. No, he pushed him because he was teasing him.
Case in Point:
Boys tease each other. Boys tease girls. Boys don't really know how to communicate unless they are teasing you. They think it's great fun and they don't understand why you wouldn't want to be teased about every little thing that you like or don't like. Boys especially enjoy teasing if they are older brothers. From what I hear, my husband was a HUGE tease in his family. He is the oldest brother in his family and he definitely makes sure our kids know how to take a joke. In fact, our kids are always trying to make up jokes. Some of them are hilarious and others don't make any sense, but they are always trying to find something to joke or tease about.

New Case in Point:
Boys love their moms. You hear that expression said in such a derogatory way, "He's such a Mama's boy," referencing some man who apparently isn't manly enough. However, being a mom to these little boys of mine, I have repeatedly whispered that phrase to each of them as babies, "You are Mama's boy." Eli still wants to marry me and asks me at least once a week, "Mom, can I be married to you?" I assure him he's going to find a great woman of his own to marry some day. Then she too can wear a "marry" ring like I have. These boys of mine, they love me dearly. When they want comfort and love they come to me and let me hold them. As I try to lift Owen in various circumstances I can't believe that this strong built boy used to easily fit in my arms. My how the time flies.

Last year a friend was talking about what a blessing daughters are to a mother. I didn't quite understand her exact meaning until she explained further, "Well, daughters take care of their parents when they are older. Sons go off and have to care for families of their own." I have thought about that a lot. It's true, these boys I'm raising, I'm instilling with the idea that they need to learn to be hard workers, so that they can take care of their own families some day.

It's part of God's plan that spouses cleave to one another. I understand for women that is different than for men. Women need other women's companionship which would obviously include their own mothers while men don't have that strong need. However, I hope that my boys can marry women who appreciate the time I took to help mold these sweet, little boys into the wonderful men they will someday be. And, when she needs a break from all the teasing, just send him home to see his Mom.


Lara said...

This was a neat post to read, Audrey.

I am the daughter with three little brothers. I guess I can empathize with Ryanna. :)

But, I also know what kind of work you have raising boys, because I watched (and helped) my mother do it.

Girls are hard in their own way, and I suppose I had to learn that lesson.

Mostly, I just love what you say about the joy of boys, and mothering them. Finding joy in our children is so important.

rachel said...

I don't know all the tiny differences between raising boys and girls. I do know that boys have a definite different energy and lots of it! I have often wondered when they will grow out of this sword fighting thing and then I turn around and Colby is fighting with them. . . maybe they don't. You did a great job defining these fascinating innate character traits that boys get at birth.

wackywilsons said...

What a great post about boys...I really enjoyed reading it and relating to it. My boys are SO SO busy and LOUD and energetic. It is exhausting everyday. I hope that someday they WILL come back to me and love me since I have no girls to take care of me when I am old...