I have a house full of all teenage boys, but this time it isn’t just my own four. I have four sons from seventh grade to a sophomore in college, but tonight is my oldest son’s 19th birthday, and we have five of his friends from elementary school here to spend the night with him. It is wonderfully odd to watch these 19-year-old boys interact with each other and to let me still play a part in their life.

Unfortunately, I won’t have this same opportunity in the lives of my other sons. They do have their own friends but so many are social friends. They may know each other from school, but they are not spending time together in person. I do not let my children go to homes of children I don’t know or parents I haven’t met. This may have created a barrier in my younger sons’ lives, but I refuse to change that policy.

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Cristian, my oldest, seems to have grown up in a different generation although there is only a two-year age gap between all my boys. Tonight, I was privileged to watch these boys reminisce, play video games, talk about board games, and probably a whole lot more when I was out of the room.

My heart was full—not just for myself but because I was able to see them reconnect.

As a boy mom, I have realized that it is harder for boys to maintain guy relationships, but somehow these boys have managed to do it over the last seven years. They make every birthday, some holidays, the whatever let’s hang out days and I love all of them for that. They not only have made an impact on who my son is as a personbeing there for some of his deepest momentsbut their presence has shown the younger brothers what true friendship is about.

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We boy moms need to remind these boys they can stay the night, raid the refrigerator, and sometimes just to be (think girlfriend breakups) because we don’t always give the boys room to have their friends or we don’t talk to them as they grow older.

We let the silence convince us they are growing into men and they don’t need us as much.

It isn’t true mamas . . . these boys took over my living room with tacos, chocolate, and games. Half left early because of work tomorrow, another came late from work and a college class, but they all had fun. They spent the time they had together that made me envious, wanting time with my girlfriends.

Take time to remind not just your children of the wonder of friendship but also yourself.

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Autumn Brooke

I am a single mother of 4 wildly wonderful sons and an aspiring novelist. Growing up a military brat and spending several years as an active duty member myself, I developed a passion for travel, coffee, wine and chocolate which often come to play in many of my writings.

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