Living with little boys sure will keep you on your toes and give you a new appreciation for all things creepy and crawly. As I sit and reflect on the turtles, frogs, worms and talk of poop I have come to realize something; God knew what she was doing when she gave me boys. If I could guarantee a boy, I would petition for a third baby. But God doesn’t answer those types of prayers. She knows a mother’s heart and knows that we will fiercely love whatever is given us. When it comes to thanking God for the gift of children, God is a “she”. Who else can understand how intertwined the joy and pain are when it comes to giving birth and taking care of babies. A women, that’s who.
Raising little boys has opened up my world to the beauty of all the gross and grody that creation offers, the hilarity of sitting on a whoopee cushion and a well timed fart joke. Life with little boys has allowed me to embrace the mess. I no longer stress over a messy house. Yes, I scream at them to put the toys away, clean their rooms, make their beds, wipe up the filth they create in the bathroom sink, wipe up the drips from popsicles and to brush their teeth again because the first pass didn’t clear away the fuzz. Those constant requests aren’t obsessing over the mess, those are life lessons. Someday they will be on their own and won’t have me to pick up after them, make their beds and scrape plaque off their teeth (yes, I have scraped plaque off little boy teeth with my fingernail). I’m just doing their future roommates and spouses a favor.
Raising little boys means you always have someone to recuse the turtles that wash onto your yard after a big rainstorm.
Raising little boys means you become enthralled with tiny frogs, snails and millipedes but always have someone to deal with it so you don’t have to.
Raising little boys gives you a whole new education of their manly parts and the benefits of being able to go to the bathroom outside whenever you feel like it.
Raising little boys teaches you to be excited about the discovery of Alligator Snapping Turtles and send them off to discover nature with the only word of warning being “don’t let him bite your fingers off.”
Raising little boys teaches you to relish the messy fun and allow them to just be.
Raising little boys means that all the clothes are “play clothes”
Raising little boys means having the heavy responsibility to turning them into men who will love and respect the one their with. Thankfully these little boys have an excellent role model who is not afraid to hug and kiss and dance with me in front of them. Someday all too soon we will have to send them out into this world to see what happens. We pray for God to watch over them and guide them. This is another one of those times when I see God as a mother watching over them with the mother bear instincts that She put in me when She gave me these boys.
Raising these little boys is a delicate balance of tough and tender. Allowing them to be messy, crazy, adventurous, curious, dirty, scraped up and rough. At the same time allowing them to cry when they are hurt, teaching compassion for others, holding their tender feelings in palm of your hand but showing them how to be tough and stand up for themselves when they need to.
Sweet Jesus with the little children in your lap, help me walk this tight rope.