I used to imagine my imaginary daughter and me in matching white dresses running hand-in-hand through a field of wildflowers. I imagined us laughing as we put flowers in each other’s hair and lying on our backs reading books or watching the clouds go by.
I never really imagined trekking through fields to look for bugs or snakes or stopping to splash in every mud puddle with my little boys. I never imagined snuggly storytimes being interrupted by wrestling matches and pillow fights.
I’ve always been pretty calm, quiet, and peaceful. As a little girl, I loved climbing trees and exploring but also tranquilly playing with my dolls and toys. I never imagined living in a house full of boys who are usually loud, boisterous, and full of enviable energy.
Sometimes it’s difficult and draining, but the joy is often contagious and awakens life inside of me I didn’t know was missing.
I used to think I wasn’t the right type of person to be a boy mom, but slowly, I’m learning I am what they need and they are what I need.
Sometimes I am the anchor, and they are the storm. When their ever-changing emotions rain down, I’m a shelter that’s safe and warm for them. Sometimes they are the wind that pushes me forward. They give me the courage and boldness to soar to places I wouldn’t have thought to venture before.
I might not ever be as loud or daring and free as they are. I may often feel like I can barely keep up. But I’m the stability they need, the listening ear that will try to hang on every word.
I’ll help them learn to regulate their feelings and piece back together little worlds that have fallen apart.
I’ll be the one backing them up, cheering them on as they run ahead. I will be there to hold them when they go a bit too fast and fall down. And then I’ll gently encourage them to get back up and finish strong.
They’ll make me laugh louder and play with more abandon. They’ll teach me the joy of self-forgetfulness as I get lost in the wonder of who they are.
Right now while they’re small, they always gravitate back toward me—that magnetic pull toward mommy that little ones posses.
But I know, as they grow and chase their unique dreams, that pull will gradually disappear until they rarely look back toward me at all.
One day, they may run to the arms of another girl. And I hope they will know how to listen to her, how to be gentle, and when to be calm. I hope they will have learned to be joyful and wild while being considerate and yielding to others. I hope they will know how to be an anchor and how to soar.
I never imagined myself as a boy mom, but now I know it’s who I was meant to be. I don’t need to change who I am or change them to be like me.
So I’ll hold them close, then set them free. And I’ll trust these little moments will reach much further than I see.