There are all kinds of parenting books out there. I know, I devour them all. And there are even specific books on raising different genders, but I’m here to tell you…
There is so much more.
I was sitting at my son’s band event tonight, beaming with pride, when I got a tinge of a pain. I looked and there he stood taller than all his classmates. He’s grown so far, so fast, so… different. I joke and use the term “man child.” But there he is. They don’t tell you about this part. When they look like a man, but still feel like that 3 year old begging you for “just one more book momma.” I look over when he sits down and he’s joking with a fellow student…a girl. I text a fellow mom in the crowd and tell her it makes my stomach flip like a pancake. When did this happen? When did he start looking at girls in a new light? They don’t warn you.
Why don’t they tell you that this age is when they never get full. NEVER GET FULL. When you fear he must have some intestinal disease because he’s skinny as a rail and yet that 8th piece of pizza goes down like it’s the 1st. They don’t warn you that you will need to provide 15 meals per day and he will still think there is nothing to eat in the house.
When their feet grow past your husband’s size and that pair you just bought last month are too small now. You glance over at his pants and they are a 1/2 inch too short again. When did that happen?
What about when your 8 year old boy doesn’t want to hold your hand in front of his friends as you walk with him during his field trip? I just want to feel his grip on mine. Witnessing them be fearless, careless, and carefree. They’ll climb trees and break bones and give you scares you didn’t know you could have.
They don’t tell you that they will have pet worms, hold toads, and empty gum wrappers will be in your dryer. That the love of a boy is so different than the love of a girl. That it will be gut wrenching when they no longer want to snuggle because they’re too old for that.
You’ll cry when they hit that baseball all the way to the out field and still look to you to make sure you’re watching. To give you a small grin when you wave at them from the bleachers at school during their play. And the way they’re clumsy and lanky at times. You’ll have to remind them more than girls to brush their teeth and lift the seat up each and every time they use the bathroom. Or in my case, to flush the dang toilet. You’ll sit on urine multiple times during the day because they obviously are still learning how to aim that thing. They don’t warn you that you’ll have to remind them to put their socks in the washing machine and put deodorant on because there isn’t much worse than smelling a teen who has forgotten. You’ll remind them to be strong, but that it’s ok to still cry. You’ll try to show them what being a man is really about. You’ll ask your husband for help because you have no idea. You’ll teach and guide and pray you’ve done it right.
They’ll learn to open doors for strangers and allow girls to go first. You’ll pray they find a partner that sees how amazing they are and how hard you worked to make them into the man they see before them. You’ll educate them on folding laundry, cleaning a bathroom, and cook at least one meal. Your husband will prepare them to drive and be a kind human being.
To get the honor of loving and raising a boy is unlike anything else on this earth. Just when you think you couldn’t love another man anymore than your husband…they come along and rip your heart wide open.