I don’t have any boys. My house is about as estrogen-charged as one can get with three teenage daughters living under my roof.

I know nothing about that special mother-son relationship or what it’s like to try to control a growing teenage boy twice your size.

And I haven’t had much time to lament over not adding a male to our brood. It’s hard to wish for something else when your hands are already so full.

But I’ve watched something occur over the last few years, a shift that happens between the end of sixth grade and the beginning of high school.

I’ve noticed boys who leave school for the summer with round, chubby faces and short limbs and squeaky voices often return as different people. Like, I don’t even recognize these young men who I’ve known for years.

They grow several inches seemingly overnight, with their limbs stretching endlessly. Their faces turn from squeezable mush to strong and chiseled. Their voices are unrecognizable to my ears and sound more like men than the boys I knew yesterday.

And it both breaks my heart and fills me with pride as I watch them open doors and lift heavy boxes and hear them say, “Let me help you with that.”

These little boys who used to be so rough on the playground, who used to cry with tears of frustration when they lost a game, who used to think my daughters were “yucky”.

Well, those little boys are growing up well right before my eyes.

I may not know the extreme hunger of a teenage boy or understand their obsession with video games or have to deal with Axe body spray—but I see those little boys turning into men.

And this all-girl mom just wants you boy moms to know that my heart feels it, too.

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.