I’ve been a little slow with the writing production this week because my son had nasal surgery. Let’s be real – I’ve been a little slow with ANY kind of production this week. My duties as a nursemaid and mother have superseded all else for the past few days as I care for my poor little man who looks, for the second time in 3 months, like he lost a fight to Mike Tyson. At least he didn’t lose an ear.
Two words can explain how we got here, and it has nothing to do with boxing – stick wars.
Apparently, that’s a thing. Apparently, boys play these dangerous types of games for enjoyment. Hurling sticks at each other for pleasure isn’t something I can wrap my head around, but, regrettably, it wrapped itself around his. As much pain as he’s in and swears he’ll never do it again, he still maintains, “It was so much fun, Mom!”
This makes zero sense to me. It made perfect sense to the boys who joined in the Battle of the Branches, at least until they had to answer to the disapproving mom squad, but it made none to me. Since I have three girls and one boy, many of my mother-son experiences have involved some very, um, perplexing moments for me.
Like the time he put his younger sister in the trunk of the car. “Don’t worry mom, there’s a lever in there you can pull if you get stuck.” Why does he know this?
Or the time he drove his bike right into the neighbors’ sago palm, without even swerving to miss it, and ended up with a bruised nether region.
And the time he tried to stand on a swing – and swing – while eating a popsicle. You can guess how that ended.
“Boys are different,” they told me. I initially resented the advice other mothers of sons offered up, all of which included, “That’s a boy for ya’.” I don’t tend to stereotype based upon gender, or at least I didn’t before I met my son, but it sure does seem he gets himself into some harebrained predicaments the girls would never even consider as options.
I know I’m a girl and all, but I’ve been pretty understanding of most of his shenanigans up until now. I guess I should’ve known I was in trouble when he was three and I emerged from the shower to find him snacking on a giant bowl of people chow, which he was holding between his legs. Did I mention all he was wearing was socks?
My son was rough and tumble – and different – right from the start. He entered every room with a somersault. He turned every pole shaped object into a bat or a hockey stick. He climbed the Christmas tree. He licked the driveway (I can’t even). He ate the dog food and almost some dog poop. Almost. He fell for fun. Correction – he falls for fun.
And it’s all perfectly normal.
Boys ARE different, in a gazillion ways that make me wonder if they aren’t the alien life forms SETI has long been in search of.
And my son is different in a gazillion ways that make me wonder how we ever lived without him.
He is funny. Ok, he’s hilarious, but it’s not just the humor behind his jokes that’s endearing. He WANTS to make people laugh.
He is smart. That’s not just the Beverly Goldberg in me talking. This kid is wicked intelligent. His love of math and science matches his skills, which, the last time we checked, were at the college level. He’s 12.
He LOVES his dog. He hugs his dog. He kisses his dog on the mouth. Ew. He cuddles with his dog, and his dog is bigger than he is, at least for now.
He adores his father, and emulates everything he does, including the silly gibberish talk no one else in the house understands. It must be some kind of guy code the rest of us can’t crack.
He loves his mom. Like crazy loves his mom, and would do anything to make her smile. As an infant, he even snuggled differently than the girls, nuzzled so tightly into my chest that it was never close enough. He’s now reached a height that when he hugs me, I can bend down and kiss the top of his head, which (after a shower) smells remarkably like that intoxicating infant scent I mentioned before.
He. Is. The. Sweetest. Yes, it’s masked by his frequently goofy nature, but it is obvious to those who have the wisdom and discernment to look past what’s “expected” of a boy.
Yes, boys are different. And so are girls. And so are people. But there really is just something about mothering boys. One minute you want to scoop them up and hold on to them forever, and the next, you’re at the end of your rope, sobbing on the phone with the daycare pleading for a drop-in spot. To be clear, I’ve never actually done that. I’ve just heard stories.
My girls will probably give me a hard time for this entry, but they know their little/big brother (the poor guy has bossing coming from all directions), and they also know what a lovable little man he is. And if any of them have sons when they grow up, they will understand.
Each of my children claims to be my favorite child, and my response to each of them is, “Yes, you are. You all are.” I love all of my children uniqually. No, that’s not a misspelling. That’s the word I came up with to explain to them that I love them all equally but uniquely. The same, but different. Yes, mothering sons is indescribably different, and sons love their mothers in inexplicably different ways. And even during times of war, it is nothing short of awesome.