I consider myself a girly-girl. I adore the color pink, ruffles and polka dots, frilly lace, and bouquets of beautiful flowers. Make-up, pretty dresses, a fun hairstyle; very much my style. As a young girl I used to play with Barbies, Cabbage Patch Kids, My Little Ponies, and Strawberry Shortcake Dolls. A perfect night would include a sappy old musical on television and a big bowl of chocolate ice cream. I scream when I see spiders, run from snakes, jump at lizards; creepy-crawly things are not my friend. I like to cuddle, brush hair, share about important parts of my day, and go to the mall just to browse the racks for hours.
Then God blessed my life with two rambunctious boys. Bursting with energy beyond anyone’s imagination, these two little people keep me running from the moment they wake up, until the moment they crash in their beds at night. I really know nothing about being a mom to boys. I cry way to easily, and am way to sensitive. I don’t know how to “transform” a transformer. I haven’t memorized all of the Star Wars characters, even though my son asks me often about their names. When Moses came home and asked if he could have a Bakugan, I had to look it up on the internet to find out what it was. They should offer a class to clueless moms like myself, on all of these “boy” things, at least then we would have a chance to look “cool” in front of our boys.
Boys like to pick their boogers, and pass gas. My oldest cannot make it in the toilet for the life of him, no matter how many times we have the lesson. It is a continual battle to wash his hair and clip his fingernails. He comes home from school everyday with his face covered in dirt. For the life of me I can’t figure out how he can get so dirty in a day. He loves to put his smelly socks all over the house, and dump his sand-filled shoes right in the middle of a neatly swept floor. I work so hard to make them look presentable, clean, hair brushed, clothes washed. By the end of most days, they look like little homeless children, clothes filthy, lunch and dinner smeared on the front of their shirts, hair sticking every-which way, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter clumped in their hair. Lately, Cy’s yogurt that he eats for breakfast works as a great hair gel for the rest of the day. It used to really bother me. I feared the worst, wondering if people would think I was an unfit mother who couldn’t take care of her children. Then slowly I started realizing that that they weren’t going to be presentable no matter how hard I tried, they were going to say the most inappropriate thing at the most inopportune moment, and most of all, that ultimately there was no such thing as perfection!
The truth of it is boys are simple. Food, hugs, discipline, structure, love, and affection; not much else they need. They bloom when showered with words of affirmation, thrive when given the opportunity to do something on their own and be responsible, crave boundaries as much as they push against them, beg to be tickled, and die to be adored. My boys have changed me, from a frilly girly-girl, to a rough and tough mom. A mom who puts on a brave face when killing a big nasty spider, someone who can get down and dirty building sand castles and making Lego car creations, a mom who can one moment comfort a sick baby and love on a hurting boy, and in the next can wrestle and box. I can’t imagine my life without these two precious ones.
I still haven’t figured out the whole Transformer thing, there are a lot of things I don’t claim to have figured out. However, over the last six years I have learned to make an amazing tiger GROWL, build train tracks with perfection, zoom Hot Wheels across a table, all while talking on the telephone, e-mailing, and making breakfast. While maybe a bit exaggerated, multi-tasking and flexibility is definitely the key! They have taught me to seek out joy in the smallest of things, from playing with a little rolly polly on the ground, pointing to an airplane flying through the sky, tasting ice cream for the first time, laughing at made up jokes, and singing funny songs at the top of our lungs. Boys give the best hugs, and the best kisses. Boys love their mommas. “Mom, I’m always gonna love you, no matter what,” Moses often will say. Boys adore their daddy’s and want to be just like them. “I’m gonna be a rockin’ star.” Boys make life much more fun.