Why My Boys Make Me a Better Person
Being the mom of only boys, I am often sent or tagged in articles with titles like, “The Best Things About Having Only Boys”. While I generally appreciate and agree with these articles, I’ve recently been struck by an alarming pattern: our boys’ awesomeness is being diminished and watered down to things such as, they can reach stuff I can’t, or they won’t ever make me wait in line to see a princess, or they think fart jokes are funny!
I’ve only been a mom to boys for 5 years. My sweet guys are currently ages 5, 2, and 10 months. But I already know that boys are so much more than fart-loving, princess-hating creatures who will one day be taller than I am and can therefore reach stuff that I can’t. So, here’s my list of The Top 5 Reasons Why Being a Mom to Boys Only Truly Rocks. (I am not saying girls are not these things. They may very well be all these things, but, heck if I’d know. I only grow children with one X and one Y chromosome).
1. They are intuitively caring
I remember when my oldest saw me cry for the first time. I remember how he came over to me, put his arms around my neck and planted a big, fat, wet kiss on my head. He didn’t say anything. He just knew what sadness looked like, and he wanted to show, in his own way, that he was there. I’m not going to lie, I took great pride in the fact that he didn’t say anything like, “It will be okay,” or “Don’t worry!” Seeing as I am a social worker I try to talk about feelings often and openly. And my boys already seem to understand that they don’t have to fix me (or anyone else), or the situation when I am sad. They can just be present with the feelings.
2. They know no stereotypes
My boys can often be found digging in the dirt with painted fingernails or toenails. Not just any painted nails, but a different color of the rainbow on each nail. They mimic me in the morning when I do my makeup and they mimic my husband when he shaves. They just love what they love and have no care in the world about what others think about them (at least, not yet anyway).
3. They look out for each other
They may still be very young. But when my second-born is given some kind of treat (even if it is a reward for something special that he did) he always says, “Tweet for Eye–an, too!?” (translation: “Treat for Ryan, too?!”). My oldest, even though his younger brothers drive him crazy at times, recently bought a toy (one of those expensive WOW Trucks) for Zachary with his piggy bank money because, in his words, “I just know how much he wanted it!” Both Ryan and Zachary are constantly aware of Connor – what he is doing and what he needs. I hope these brotherly bonds grow thicker and stronger with each passing year.
4. They love with their whole bodies
My boys definitely seem to be of the “lover not a fighter” mold. Yet, they love fiercely and with every inch of themselves. When they want to snuggle, they plant their entire body in your lap and practically smother you with their closeness. They give hugs so tight that I can feel the love oozing from them to me. They give wet sloppy kisses, bordering on those of an enthusiastic puppy. When they are excited to see their Daddy at the end of the day, they run full charge into him so that he often recoils in pain, as they are just now at that perfect height which threatens to damage the family jewels. They know no limits when it comes to showing their love for others and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. They challenge me daily to be a better woman
I am raising boys who will one day be men. Consequently, I am aware daily of the fact that I am modeling for them what they will grow up and expect a woman to be. No, I am not assuming that none of them will be gay. Whether they are gay, straight, bisexual, transgendered, or asexual, they will still have relationships with women: as friends, co-workers, and possibly as intimate partners. The way they view me will affect the way they view all the women they encounter. So, I want them to see a loving, strong, confident, imperfect woman who asks for and gives forgiveness willingly, even when it’s really hard to do. I want them to see a woman whose body is by no means “perfect” but is healthy and beautiful. I want them to see a woman, a mother, a person who shows respect to her fellow human beings, and in return deserves respect. My boys give me the courage and confidence to strive daily to be this woman.
So yes, my boys will one day be young men who will make even my stinkiest after-run-stank smell like roses. No, they probably won’t ever care about the daily lives of the latest boy band members, and for that I am forever grateful. But my boys are so much more than that. I am most grateful for the opportunity to be living under the same roof as three fiercely loving, non-stereotyping, protective brothers, who help make me a better me.