Sunday, December 28, 2014

Oh good, another boy

I love raising boys.

Really.  I do.

I love the sounds and the energy.  I love that sibling resentment almost always escalates to physicality, where any bitterness is put to rest.  Until the next fight, at least.

I find boy number three comforting and familiar.  I'm not shocked by much anymore.  He must climb.  He just must.  And I get that now.  He hits and pushes and kicks and then follows it all with a hug and a kiss, as if such actions are obviously compatible.  There are things that happen in his diaper that don't, anymore, cause my jaw to drop as I scream for my husband.

Boy things are normal to me.  

I don't get upset when the toilet seat is left up.  I'm just happy for a dry surface on which to rest.  

I'm calloused to the faint stench of urine emanating from their room, no matter how often I wash their bedding (which, admittedly, isn't very often) and despite the fact that they haven't wet their beds for years.  Literally.  Years.

Joel couldn't attend our gender-determining ultrasound with Benjamin.  So I asked the doctor to write it down and place it in a sealed envelope.  So we could open it together.

Later that day we all huddled in Joel's classroom.  It was unceremonious, for sure, but we couldn't wait.  

So we tore it open and both of our faces fell.  But we forced smiles and said, Oh good, another boy.

We already had two, and they were so opposite of each other, we couldn't figure out how a third could be exciting at all.  He would be just like the one or just like the other.  There was no third option, in our minds.

But it turns out Benjamin was his own option.  And oftentimes we look at him at night (when he's good and asleep) and say, out loud, How did we get so lucky?

Now our house is loud and messy and full of non-stop, full-throttle action.

I adore it.  If not always in the moment, at least the memory of the moment.

I love when they laugh at "boy things" that mom can't possibly understand.  I love being the lap they want to snuggle on in those few and far between moments of calm.  I love the once or twice a year when I put on a dress and they follow me through the house, telling me how nice I look an awkward number of times.

They also drive me completely crazy.  Sometimes I want life to be still and calm and they just will not allow it.  Unless they're sleeping.

And I wasn't always so excited about the world of boys.

When we pulled that small slip of paper from its envelope, I'll admit, I was disappointed.  But it wasn't the first time.

I pictured motherhood as a very calm and beautiful thing.  I thought there would be a whole lot of snuggles and kisses, and fun that was 100% fun, and not also frustrating and exhausting.

But Aiden from his earliest moments always wanted to go.  He couldn't be held down if you tried.  He woke at 5, and as I would cry in frustration, my husband would tell me, "He's just excited for the day."

He was excited for the day.  And now, nearly seven years later, he still is.  He'll ask us, at times, to wake him up early, just to play before his brothers awake.  He's passionate and enthusiastic and happy and kind... all of the things people told me he'd one day be, when I thought I couldn't handle another day of his relentless energy.

It took me a while.  To overcome the disappointment.  To reconcile my picture of the perfect child with this one I was given.

But I did.  Eventually.  And now, when I see my first baby in my third, as he pours raisins over the carpet and runs circles around the kitchen table, I realize I've finally embraced these things.  These boys who've invaded my life.

I love that as I gaze out the window, one boy is bouncing on a snow-covered tree limb, the other throwing a bat from the ground into its branches.  My boys, playing in the snow.

It's not how I imagined life with kids.  But it's the best life.

One girl in a house full of boys.

And I'm the lucky one.


  1. I love, love, love this blog. It's so honest, funny and raw, no rainbows and unicorns, just the truth. I have 2 girls but was nodding all the time. And wanted to assure you, that 2 girls did the same to my life. Yes, they love Queen Elsa, castles and beads but it's easier to catch a bag of fleas than to put them to bed. Life is crazy and I embrace it.

    1. Thank you so much! Your kind words made me smile. And I am sure girl mamas can completely relate to the never-ending energy pool:) The bag of fleas analogy is perfect.