I’ve come out from my writing hiatus in order to respond to an instagram post by @monbon6985- a picture of her handsome husband, @el_nater, and their precious new baby boy, sound asleep. The caption reads “If only it was always this easy!”
To which I responded “Oh boy… so much fun to come!”
I wanted to write more but instead I’ve taken it to my blog in order to write to all mothers of sons who get their information from the internet. Here is what GOOGLE will not tell you about raising boys.
Put your mani/pedi, tea party fantasies aside and role up your sleeves. Fasten your seat belt and make sure you have easy access to oxygen and know how to put your mask on. Raising boys is not for sissies.
A mother of sons has a certain quality that distinguishes her from other mothers. It’s something called GRIT. It’s both under her fingernails and in her character. We find each other and become fast friends- not unlike war veterans or earthquake survivors. With boys, it certainly takes a village and all hands on deck to keep them on the straight and narrow. Or to keep us sane. Whichever is the most important at the moment.
It’s the little things that can throw you a curve. The various items you find in the pockets of their pants when you are doing their laundry. The “senior trip” photos that he accidentally left in the back seat of your car. Or the alcohol in your pantry that suddenly tastes like water. The camping trip to Mt. Madonna that you had a strange hunch about and wouldn’t let him go to at the last minute, thankfully. Or the phone call from Mexico when your son and his friend, Nate, slept on a random beach and lost their car and personal artifacts to the incoming tide and had to hitchhike their way back to civilization.. or at least that’s the story they told me.
It’s when they are playing basketball shirts and skins in your driveway and you notice that one of their friends, Chris, has a gigantic tattoo across his back and pierced nipples. “Does your mom know you have that?” I asked… wondering if I should strip my boys down naked and examine them from head to toe. Or when you’re greeted at the door by your son and his friend who just painted his bedroom. “Hi mom. Oh BTW the paint on the chip is REALLY different from the way it turned out. Just sayin’!” After which I climb the stairs to his room and Boston Ivy from Home Depot reaches out and violently grabs me. BTW, Will Carter, I think I still owe you some money.
When you come home from work and the girls you just had for detention a half hour ago are at your house (in their rolled up uniform skirts) BBQing with your sons and their friends. “Oh Hi, Mrs. Healy.” Deserving a mention is the trampoline pushed up to the garage. One look and I knew. “Were you boys jumping off the roof onto the trampoline???”
They cannot lie. I must tell you. Boys totally suck at lying. That’s a good thing.
They will grow up and suddenly outweigh you. But you must convince them that you can outsmart them. At least for several more years. Long after you can no longer carry them in your arms, you will carry them emotionally and spiritually. And if you do this whole boy thing right, they will become your knights in shining armor. They will fix your technology and help you with home repairs. They will start having the parties YOU used to have for them and all their friends and invite you to come and just relax. They will take your arm when you cross the street together and carry your packages. They will tell your significant other “Thank you for taking such good care of my mom”.
Through all of this you must never let them know that you have no idea what you are doing. Don’t ever let them see your weakness. Don’t let them know that you stay up all night worrying about them. Act “as if” you’ve got this mother of sons thing under control. Poker face. Don’t let them see you sweat.
You got this @monbon6985. And @thetateway, @neneboehealy, @sarah_h_lucero, @carliebuys, @lindsbot_, @eringrubisich.
You will survive. Tattoo it on your heart. Write it across the sky. Trace it in the dust he lets settle in his bedroom. Always stand by your man. He needs your love and support. Even when he throws the proverbial pitcher of water at you and walks off into manhood.
Thank you Robert, Patrick and Peter for making me one tough mudder. I couldn’t have done this without you. And thank you for not telling me EVERYTHING. I love you with every fiber of my being. And believe me.. I wouldn’t change a thing about our journey together.
Ok.. maybe just a few things.