Dear mom of boys,
I’ve seen your face when someone asks you if you are trying for a girl. I’ve seen you at the park, laughing nervously as you cover your boy and at the same time try to explain to others why he just dropped his pants and started to go potty. I’ve seen you wiping muddy tears and kissing boo boos, struggling not to cry even as they run away to play, because you wish you could just protect them from their clumsy selves.
I know about the books you read. I know about the questions you have. I know about the long nights when your mind just keeps going, trying to come up with the perfect things to do. I know about the long summer days when you are out of ideas and they are looking at you for more. I know about the doubts. Sleep training, cloth diapers, baby sign language, discipline, teething, and the list goes on. You’ve read about all of them but you still don’t quite know.
I know some times you think that if you had girls you would know what to do. But I know that you know that we would still wonder. Because that’s how we think.
I’ve seen you when you lose patience and react too soon. I’ve seen you wiping kids faces with your sleeve and then wiping your sleeve on your pants. I’ve seen you yelling, begging, negotiating, bribing and threatening. I’ve see you feeling stupid afterwards. I’ve seen you realizing that you wore that shirt for the last three days and you definitely need a shower.
I’ve seen you praying and crying as you drive to the emergency room. I’ve seen you up all night rocking bouncing wishing he would just be alright.
Maybe you always wanted boys. Maybe you never did. maybe you always wanted a girl. Or a girl and a boy. Maybe you kept trying for a girl. But maybe you just wanted more boys. it doesn’t matter how it came to be, I still know you, the moment I see you, and I see the look in your eyes, the love and adoration for those little boys. I see how you hold on so tight, and you don’t want to let go. I know because I do it too. Because that’s what we do.
The fact is, as soon as I saw you, I knew you right away! It didn’t matter if I met you at the store, the park, online, the airport, the library, or if I just saw you passing by. I recognized the power, the resilience, the heart muscle, the nonchalant reactions when your child is about to throw a giant rock up in the air, with his eyes closed. Because you’ve already seen so much more! baseballs through windows, broken bones, intense wrestling matches right in your living room floor, shattered lights that end that friendly football game indoors, smashed up bugs and 600 critters that they bring along. Because that’s how we react!
But most importantly, I know about the kisses, and the smiles. I know about the flowers and the weeds that you carefully place in water. I know about the snuggles. I know about those long hugs that comfort you when your heart is broken. I know about the built in comedy shows. I know about the pride when they draw you for the first time. I know that we know how to kill all the monsters. And I bet you can tell me what a Dilophosaurus is and how many teeth they have.
I know about that moment when he was finally in your arms. I know your heart exploded. I know you swore to never let him be harmed. I know how that first night you only wanted to turn the world off and stare at that tiny bundle of joy. I know that all the pain was nothing. I know you fell in love.
I know you when I see you, because I see myself in you.
And I want to tell you that you are doing a good job! Listen to your heart. Don’t give up. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Have fun. Get dirty. Cry a little. Or a lot. Laugh at yourself. Enjoy these boys. Teach them, learn from them. And know that you are not alone. I’m here with you.