5 Things Only Mothers of Boys Would Understand
Ah, boys. Where butt jokes, head butts, and near death antics never lose their luster. Before any woman is blessed with a male fruit of her loin, we’re at least mildly prepared for the chaos. We know from witnessing friend’s kids or nephews that they’re wild, messy, and full of more energy than a Kryptonite tank. However I’m three boys in so far, and I find myself baffled to this day, over these five evergreen qualities of boys, we’re never quite prepared for.
The brushes with death
Honestly. Last week alone I threw myself in traffic, human shielding my seven-year-old running blindly across the street, and broke up a brotherly wrestling match that made the UFC look like a peace conference. These precious moments came on the heels of a family hike, where my oldest son nearly meet Jesus after attempting to channel the powers of Spiderman and jump his way down from a 20 foot cliff.
All moms of boys know they’re ridiculously physical, fearless, and nonsensical and at times, with the seeming goal of ensuring we gray before 40. I am continually amazed at the terrifying stunts my boys pull, that mothers of daughters might not even believe. There was a time period when my youngest were four and five, that I actually wondered if they’d even make it past youth. After coming home one day to the sight of one outside in a tree, in 30 degree weather…butt naked…and the other literally chasing another with kitchen shears, I felt ready for the rapture. Bags are packed Lord, anything is better than wondering if your children will survive the fortnight. Boys are of course so fun and adventurous, but what they boast in brevity, they lack in awareness of their own mortality.
The upside for boys of moms is I believe we develop a trust and dependence on the Lord for than perhaps any other season of life. The morning prayers of boy-moms can literally be reduced to, “Lord keep them all alive while I’m gone,” and “God, give me the energy to survive this day,” while Nerf bullets pound against the bathroom door we’ve locked ourselves in. #LordHearOurPrayers.
A state of general pantlessness
This leads us to the next shock of them all, that’s a little less life threatening, but just as shocking to the soul. After consorting with enough boy-mom friends, I have determined there is indeed a phenomenon of nudity going on, that no one is talking about. Oh, sweet Moses, the parade of man parts that circulates around our house, daily would amaze the camp of girl-moms. It’s actually de-appetized me at times. I’m not sure if this is some inwardly, subconscious call within boys to return their primal Adam state, but my brood can be found in the nude, at any given time, in any part of the house, no matter the season. It’s even more adventurous now that my youngest has mastered the art of surprise in this arena, standing motionless from behind, to ensure the full shock of facing his full moon of glory. Now mothers of daughters might question how we’d even let our children run amok in the nude, even through winter, but after chasing down a 5 year old with Power Ranger undies for hour number two, I say pick your battle. Childhood innocence only lasts so long. If they’re assailing furniture with their ding dongs at eleven, I’ll revisit my position.
Isn’t this where the nail painting is supposed to commence?
As women, it can obviously be tougher finding ways to bond and share activities with our boys. The gap is even more difficult to bridge if you’re an extreme “girly girl,” or didn’t have brothers or a male presence growing up. I grew up with all sisters in a childhood full of glitter art, My Little Ponies, and Caboodles (darn you, millennials who aren’t familiar with this term!) so naturally, I assumed I’d have daughters some day because, well, how else would I pass on my good makeup tricks French braid tactics? Whoever doesn’t believe God has a sense of humor at this point, should seriously witness a stiletto-wearing mother barraged by her sword-fighting boys the second she walks in from work with the demand of an immediate reverse assault. In my 17 years of boy raising, I have mastered the art of wresting, memorized the powers of every Lego Ninjago character, perfected every Laber Saver technique, and constructed Lego sets I never thought humanly possible. When my oldest hit thirteen, I even attempted to play X Box, which was admittedly very short-lived…”Mom you’re shooting yourself, what are you doing?!”
Bonding can be a bit more difficult for moms of boys, but I’ve found there’s always a way to get down in the dirt and find ways into their world. It may not feel natural, or be necessarily “fun” but some of my most treasured moments have been chasing them around with lightsabers in the dark, or trampolining it up in the middle of February while those with daughters nail paint snugly inside. I still have a scar from a run-in with a homemade “ninja blade.” #WoundsOfLove
The total lack of verbiage
This one can be a total shock for moms with the gift of chatter, because the art of formulating meaningful conversations with our boys can feel nothing less than psychological warfare, at times. We all know men use like half the words we do on a daily basis, but man this statistic becomes crystal clear when trying to get any info. from boys about their day, or really anything that extends past asking where the remote went. My friend gets a total outpouring of her daughter’s heart after school each day, including a full reveal of why she feels disappointed by the inner workings of fourth grade, and when I ask the same question, the best I’ll get is: “It was good.”
“How was recess?”
“It was good…I’m hungry.”
I’ve discovered the key to this muted madness is to catch them at the right time, like when they’re mildly distracted, or at bedtime, when they’re too beaten down to keep up the emotional walls. Most moms of boys have been shocked by sudden conversations with boys opening up out of nowhere, during the most random times. 90 percent of my youngest’s language consists of butt jokes and strange noises, and yet he’ll bust out with deep pontifications in the middle of nose picking in the back seat, or share his theory on the differences between the soul and the spirit, while making a sand castle. They’re far and few between, but we learn to embrace the moments, and man when they come, they’re priceless.
The vanity of a rock
Okay so this one can be a blessing, right? Coming from a world of women who’ve literally rib-shot each other out of the bathroom to get ready, my boys’ complete and utter disregard for caring about clothes, hair, or really anything having to do with the outward, baffles me to this day. My oldest is 16, and he literally just started brushing his teeth without me reminding him. And last week he left with his shirt inside outside out because he was to indifferent to care.
There are always exceptions, and to different degrees, but most young boys have not a vain care in the world, like a bunch of cenobite monks. Up until mine hit school age, I saved about twenty bucks a month cutting their hair myself and can attest they’ve left the house some days looking like they ran headfirst into a lawn mower. And no complaints. My littlest guy unknowingly rocked an uneven bowl cut for three years before a friend intervened on his behalf by sending me a “how to cut hair” YouTube link.
Proving God is sovereign, and has noticed all the calories we’ve burned trying to keep ‘em alive, most boys don’t give a hoot what they wear to school, or anywhere else for that matter, until pre-tweenhood. I’ve stopped my oldest from walking out the door with his hair literally standing on end—and he’s protested, every time.
“Mom, it’s FINE!”
“You look homeless. Get back inside.”
This can be a bit frustrating when they attempt wearing the same shirt for days, and run like the wind from your comb, but compared to households full of girls having meltdowns when not finding the right hair clip, or changing five outfits a day, I think we’ll take our stinky-socked, half washed crew, any day.
Boys can be beyond exhausting and reckless, but our little dudes are amazing, aren’t they? Their wild curiosity and explorative nature always amaze me. Everything—mixing cookie dough, washing the car, a walk through the yard—becomes a wild adventure with boys. I think witnessing their unbridled enthusiasm is a little glimpse into God’s heart, and His way of helping us appreciate the simple things, like the way popcorn pops, the way grass smells after it rains, and—“Mom, look how big that pile of dog poo is”—okay, it’s not all magic.
Here’s to you, moms of men. We’re doing just fine. All we need is endurance, patience, and sinful amounts of caffeine, and stock in Band-Aids.