I started writing this column a few weeks ago, just reminiscing about how funny, unexpected and frustrating it can be to raise kids, and perhaps particularly boys (and in this case, I hope you will excuse my bias).
Now though, as I’ve had friends reach out on social media, needing someone to talk to who relates, as they’re starting to get cagey after the first full week of being cooped up at home with their kids, it seems even more timely.
And perhaps, through the difficulty of suddenly having active, constantly-moving-little-humans at home full-time, we can also reflect on the humorous side and remember just what it is that makes being a parent well worth it, in any and all circumstances.
I’ve been blessed with three loving, quirky, energetic boys and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I grew up with all sisters. There were five of us.
I being a quiet, sombre child, I didn’t much care for all the emotions that I perceived to come with girls. You know, the drama. (Turns out boys are just as emotional, they just might show it differently.)
I didn’t like playing Barbies (and for some reason my sisters always made me play Kent). I wanted G.I. Joes and science kits.
I had my own telescope and circuit board with a book of wiring combinations to make different things.
I wore pink a lot, but mostly because my fashion-loving, and more assertive twin sister usually claimed first choice of whatever outfits we got and she preferred other colours.
Back then, I was called a tom boy. Now we don’t put people in boxes as much.
I’d rather run around with the neighbourhood boys playing cops and robbers, and I did.
I was a ‘free range’ kid, riding my bike all over the place, much further from home then I was allowed to go, sneaking off to the creek I wasn’t supposed to go anywhere near, and making forts and base camps in the hills behind our neighborhood.
No, I’d had enough of so-called ‘girly’ things.
As a kid, when I imagined my future, grown-up life, I pictured myself with three sons, and that’s exactly what I got. I married a “Matt” instead of a “Mark,” but hey, you can’t have everything.
I pretty much got everything I wished for and I’m rather content with my life.
There are parts of living with boys, however, that I did not expect.
I didn’t realize sitting on a dry toilet seat was a luxury.
I didn’t know how much fun it was to play with plastic dinosaurs, a garden hose and a patch of dirt.
I never expected to have to utter the words “stop playing with your ___” so many times in one day.
I’d hoped they would get along better and not fight so much. Maybe some day …
I wasn’t prepared for how scary it is when they’re sick, or how it would hurt to watch them struggle, or the pride when they succeed.
I wasn’t prepared for how it would feel when they started to need me less — when they don’t come for cuddles as often, or come to me to kiss every boo boo.
Do boys start to become independent of their mothers sooner than girls? I don’t know.
I have no idea what it’s like to raise girls, but looking at my three handsome little men, I think that’s just fine with me — life is pretty perfect as it is.