On one unassuming morning in July, the weight of motherhood wrapped its tiny fist around my finger and has never let go.
God gave me a son. And then another son. And then another.
Three boys in six years.
I think I was most surprised by how needy they all were. How emotional and intense. How much they would hang on me and bicker with each other. How early they would wake.
Weren’t boys supposed to be easy?
Some days I worried we weren’t going to make it.
All the good parenting tactics I learned with the first one didn’t work on the third. And the second one loved to rile everyone until we cried.
But we made it, and we’re making it.
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The 12-year-old now stands inches away from six feet and they stair step down from there.
The intensity of my participation in their lives has changed drastically and while I now look fondly on those early years that broke me, I have to say . . . I am loving this phase.
Mamas of little boys, here is what you have to look forward to:
They will eventually sleep in. And when they do wake up, they will feed themselves. Your Saturday mornings will again be spent somewhat leisurely, because you will sleep until 9:00 and then wake up and make coffee and read a book. You will, however, still have to put the milk carton away because they will NEVER remember. Ever.
They will find their own fun and it will not include near-death foolishness. You can drop them off at the skate park for an hour and know that they will look out for each other and tell you all the bad words the other kids said.
You will begin having ACTUAL conversations. With them.
They will sense when you are stressed. This does not mean they will be compassionate, but they may make themselves scarce of their own free will.
They will read to themselves at night. And brush their own teeth, and put their own pajamas on. You will, I promise, one day walk into their room at 9:30 at night and fall in love with their sleeping face all over again. And as you bend to kiss their cheek you’ll think, “I need to remember to make him shower tomorrow.”
They will grow moody and reserved and you will pray and worry and remember what it was like to be pre-adolescent. And then you will wake up one day and the cloud has passed and your tall handsome man-child is himself again. And that will happen over and over.
They will never remember to not throw a football in the house.
They will eat all the snacks they can get their hands on and always leave their dirty socks on the living room floor. Always.
They will get little man-child muscles and their baby teeth will fall out and for years they will smile with their uneven, gap-toothed grin when you tell them repeatedly that burping at the table is impolite.
You will never have enough cereal and milk in the house.
But you will grocery shop alone.
Let me repeat that: you will grocery shop. ALONE.
They will eventually be appalled at the idea of being in the bathroom with you for any reason whatsoever and you will use the toilet and shower in absolute quiet.
They will stop hanging on you but will secretly need your random hugs and back rubs more than ever.
And one day you’ll wrap your arms around the first one and realize he’s just as tall as you. You’ll wonder where his little twiggy arms went and when he got such a full, handsome smile.
He’ll still need to shower, but you’ll hug him a little tighter then because he’s far closer to a man than a child and you’ll realize that the mercy of time leaves an ache.
Because being a boy mom will absolutely, gloriously wreck you.