“Boys will be boys” people say when they see my two-year-old run around wild and try to jump off the steps or throw sand on his head or when he decides the restaurant table is the perfect race track. Yes, “boys will be boys” I’ve realized, the problem is I don’t really know what boys are like. I learn a new lesson on boyhood everyday as I breeze or trudge through the journey of motherhood.
I grew up surrounded by estrogen. I was an only child until the age of seven and before that I attended an all-girls school and visited with my female cousins often. When my sister was born, my mom, my sister and I created a very special bond that keeps getting tighter despite the distance and space between us. My sister and I grew up in a fluffy, pink bubble where the worst tragedy that could happen in our eyes was related to ice-cream staining our dresses, or our best friend not being allowed to come over for a sleepover.
I was not used to the dirt, rowdiness, sounds and smells that little boys bring into the picture. Nobody told me about the bleeding noses they would give me (product of accidental head butts), or the sore toes (victims of Tonka road accidents), and the fact that I might find dirt and sand in the most bizarre places in my boy’s anatomy. I was not aware of the physicality that entails chasing mothering a very energetic little boy and the taxing toll it would take on my back let alone my manicure.
My husband, on the other hand, is thriving in this testosterone-filled environment. Growing up with a younger brother he knows exactly what to do with boys. Ever since my boy was born, they clicked…they just understand each other and know what is in each other’s souls. At two weeks old my boy had already been introduced to motorcycles, tools, and even walked dangerously close (in my opinion) to Komodo dragon infested waters, all while strapped to a carrier on his daddy’s chest.
It has taken me longer to understand my son. At first I was afraid of giving him a bath and dealing with his healing privates due to circumcision. I knew how to hold a baby, but I didn’t know how to hold my baby. I was scared of breaking him, messing him up, or traumatizing him. In my mind I didn’t know what to do with a boy and that kept me from even trying to nurture his boyhood. Little by little my ever so resilient boy has challenged me to become a boy’s mom. He was so patient when I struggled with his strong grip and taught me that I could play rough…and like it.
I still wince when throws himself at me while jumping off playground equipment and I hope I’m able to catch him. I’m not Cirque du Soleil material even though he just might be! I just hope I’m able to catch him every time he falls, or at least be right beside him to let him know that it’s ok to fall. Life is about falling, getting up and trying again.
Every time I cringe as I see him attempt yet another “life-threatening” stunt I just have to stop and remember God created him that way. God instilled creativity, and restlessness in him. My boy is called to be strong, resolute and curious and it is my job to foment his character and lead him into using all his energy in a good way.
I’m still learning to appreciate fun in dirt and the efficacy of roars and groans. I’m still learning the fact that a hug that almost throws me on the floor is, after all, the way my two-year-old demonstrates his love for me. I have a long way to go. I have just begun the race of raising two boys that will hopefully become men who will bring good to their society and make a difference. In the meantime you’ll find me in the playground with sand in my hair, a few bruises on my arms and a smile on my heart. And like the song says, “Wild thing, you make my heart sing, you make everything, groovy.” I’m loving every second of it!
Do you have any “wild things” in your life? How have your wild boys and girls challenged you on your journey into motherhood?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Ana Gaby from Indonesia. She can be found writing at Stumble Abroad.
Photo credit to the author.