I always wanted girls. It’s something I’ve written about before, thought about constantly before we had our fist boy, and have just assumed would be a reality from the time I knew I wanted children. When I had one son, and then two, people began asking me if I would keep trying for a girl. Complete strangers, even. It seems that mothers are supposed to want girls because, well, it’s the mother-daughter ideal we all carry around with us. Boys were just not something I was used to or had really considered. And now, here I am comfortably situated as the mother of two of them.
Boys are just different creatures. They’re so loud and messy and accidentally destructive. Our house is one big racetrack/fort/construction site. It is playdoh monster truck rallies, stunt jumps off the upstairs landing, torn-out pant knees and muddy shoe tracks. I am their personal always-dirty laundry gatherer, puppet show audience, and tag referee. We’re backyard soccer buddies, kitchen table scientists, inventive sandscapers. And we do it all, dawn to dusk, in a whirl of noisy exuberance.
I never expected I would have children like this. I get overwhelmed and overstimulated fairly easily by noise, and there is no noisier place in my life than my house, midday, with my boys. But with them I rarely get overstimulated. It’s come naturally to me, this boy-mothering. I can get on the floor and get dirty and make toot jokes without missing a beat.
But one of the things that has really surprised me about mothering boys is how much they really need their mothers. I had this idea in my head that boys start out and stay independent, that they quickly grow out of cuddling and don’t want to be buddies with their moms. That only a select, spoiled few were “mama’s boys.” Mine have dispelled that ridiculousness quite effectively. My oldest is (hopefully!) not spoiled, and is still my best buddy, my mama’s boy, at age five. Little K, at 2, is just growing into needing his mama, and showers me with kisses and snuggles during the day, too.
When N isn’t threatening to go live with family friends because surely they never say “no” or make people clean up after themselves, he wants to be glued to my side. And I’m okay with that. I’ve said before that I know the snuggliness won’t last forever, but I’m as excited to see how my relationships with my sons evolve as I would be if I’d had daughters. We used to say we would adopt a girl if all we had were boys, but now when talking about adoption in the future, we talk even then about another boy. In a complete 180, I can’t imagine having anything other than this mess of craziness, and even better? I’ll never have a teenage daughter like the one I was, which will probably be the best blessing of all.