On The Raising Of Men

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It was never my intention to be the mother of six sons. I didn’t plan it that way.
In fact, if I HAD, that would make me substantially MORE certifiably insane than people already assume I am.
Did I always want a large family? Yes. Yes I did. Six kids, 3 boys, 3 girls. Girl first. I had it all figured out.
But apparently God didn’t give a crap about my plans.
When I went in for an ultrasound for my first baby and discovered I was having a boy, I cried. I didn’t WANT a son. Not first. I wanted a daughter. I didn’t know anything about raising a boy. after all, I myself was a girl. How could I ever bond with a boy? The baby would hate me and love my husband simply on the basis I did not have a penis. I was sure of it.
And for awhile I was sort of right. My sons (that first one and the two who came after) preferred daddy most of the time unless they were jonesing for some Mama Milk. I was mainly just the lady with the boobs. Til daddy decided to fly the coop, leaving me knocked up with son number 4.Suddenly I was in uncharted territory all on my own. Suddenly I had to learn the names of all of the Pokemon and star wars characters and teach them how to pee standing up and how to properly clean an uncirced penis and how to behave like gentlemen and how to tie a tie……I was lost in a sea of testosterone. Drowning.
So, I started treading water. I started learning. I learned how to build badass lego spaceships. I watched all 6 of the StarWars movies, and every single Superhero movie. I learned what Bakugan and Ninjagos were. I taught them how to throw a proper kick and punch, how to do a pushup, how to climb a tree, how to make a slingshot. I learned about cars. I made official proclamation of rules like “No bathroom words at the dinner table” and “Keep your hand out of your pants in front of other people”.
And through it all I managed to cling ferociously to my own female status. I still wore dresses and liked flowers and romance and dancing. I was determined to show my boys what a true lady is. Because I wanted them to grow up to find a decent woman to marry, not a hoochie.
In 2009 my 5th son was born. And he was a daddy’s Boy all the way. My fiance was not his biological father but the way they got along from day one, you sure would have thought that man birthed him straight out of himself. I was demoted back to “lady with boobs’ once more. Drezdyn would only fall asleep if nestled into Kens chest. He would smile so huge every time Ken came home. He would laugh so hard with his head thrown back whenever Ken was being silly with him. He used to love chasing him around the house while giggling like they shared the greatest secret in the world.

Then Ken passed away. One week after Drezdyn turned 2. And suddenly the boy noticed I existed. And we clung to each other like life rafts on an ocean of pain. He spent the next 3 years sleeping in bed with me. Its only been in the past few weeks he has slept independently in his own bed ion his own room.
Turns out, I’m not too bad at this whole raising boys gig. I have a strong stomach. I don’t freak out when I see blood. I don’t panic when I walk outside and find my son perched on the roof preparing to leap into a mountain of pillows. I know all the X-Men powers and Star Wars storylines and I’ve even read one of the “Diary Of A Wimpy Kid” books. To myself. (Don’t judge. there were no other books in our house at the time and it was actually sort of funny.) I’ve introduced my sons to movies like “Goonies”, “The Dark Crystal” and “Never Ending Story”. I taught them how to throw a spiral in football. I expect them to be respectful and well mannered and helpful and chivalrous. People often comment on how helpful or polite or behaved my sons are in public. I guess when you have six young boys people imagine your life to be like a scene out of “Overboard”. You know, when the kids run rampant and are just as filthy as the house and the mom snaps finally and turns into a blubbering mass of helplessness and succumbs to the chaos.
Although, okay, yes, some days I Do feel a bit like THIS:
http://movieclips.com/Lci9q-overboard-movie-annie-is-catatonic/

But it doesn’t last.
Because my boys are rockstars. And I’ve got this. Even the tough stuff. And as much as a part of me still longs for a someday daughter, it turns out this raising of men thing really isn’t such a bad hand to be dealt. It’s FUN. It’s noisy and silly and crazy.And some times I catch a boy holding a door open for a lady at the store or offering their table to a couple women when we are all eating breakfast in the hotel lobby on our vacation or replying to my request with an automatic “Yes mam”, and I realize I’m doing okay at this.
So far.
There are many hurdles left. A whole lot of uncharted territory.
But, we’ve come this far, so….I’ll roll my sleeves up and march on.
The highest honor I have ever had bestowed on me is the duty of raising these 6 young men.
I couldn’t be any more proud.

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3 responses »

  1. Beautiful! I love boys, being a mom of 2 myself. My youngest was supposed to be a girl, as you’ve heard me say before. I was disappointed, slightly, when they said it was a boy, until they handed him to me. I looked into those beautiful blue eyes, and I melted.
    Today, if I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. My boys are my life.
    I love to read your blog. I don’t always comment because my smart phone isn’t quite as smart as they let on.
    But I reading, and have read every single one since I started following you.
    You are strong. You are an amazing mother.
    And you are loved and treasured by so many.

    “A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”
    ― Eleanor Roosevelt

    These past few weeks, you have proven this quote true many times over. You inspire me. You truly do.

  2. LOVE it! seriously! I have 2 of each, oldest a girl then two boys and another girl. when I found out my second was a boy I was terrified! I had been a girl mommy for nearly 7 years. Then when we found out I was having our 3rd, I hoped for a boy! I wanted the chaos of having two that could play together and have each other’s backs when needed. Girls can be sweet and fun but man are they mean when they want to be! When people ask me how i manage the 2 boys, I say well, if I survive the bumps and bruises and “cool” ideas with them I surely will not survive the girl (she’s 2.5 years of rotten wrapped in pink). If you mess with anyone of my kids hell hath no fury…but my girls are fighters. I dare anyone to take advantage of one of them. But, if you mess with either boy, this momma will bring a hell down on you that no one knew existed and their sisters well, they scare me from time to time lol!

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