Lessons to learn for raising a son

I’ve never been the kind of woman who wanted only to have daughters.  In fact, I was more intimidated to have a daughter than a son.  I was worried about the girl drama that I know happens.  I was worried about the increased risk for passing on my bladder condition to a girl.  I was worried about styling her hair.  So many things!  But, now that I’ve had a daughter for three years, I don’t have as many worries.  I know that we’ll have challenges unique to her gender as she gets older, but we’ll conquer those when they come.  I’ve LOVED being a mom to a girl!  I can’t imagine it differently.  I still love being a mom to a girl.

I recently came across this time out chair saying for boys on Pinterest. It may come in handy one of these days! (http://pinterest.com/pin/111604896987402285/)

And now I’m looking at expanding my mothering horizons and welcoming a baby boy in a couple of months.  I’m excited to be blessed with a boy.  I’m looking forward to the challenges that come with a boy.  And I’m terrified in some ways!  I want to raise a strong man.  I don’t know much about being a strong man other than the fact that I’m surrounded by them.  I’ve spent my life surrounded by good men and am incredibly blessed and thankful to be able to say that.  I know my son will have wonderful examples in his life including his father, his grandfathers, his uncles and his great-uncles.  But, I want to make sure I don’t mess anything up.  I want him to be the kind of man my husband is — caring, strong, funny, honest, virtuous, faithful and devoted to God.

I’ve also been thinking about the other things that come with a boy that will probably be different.  My daughter loathes getting dirty.  In fact, if we’re reading a book and the characters get dirty in the book, she always asks whether they’ll get cleaned up.  She doesn’t like dirt.  She plays gently with her toys.  She’s much more verbal than physical.  She’s all sweetness at least 95 percent of the time!

I’m thinking I may need to learn some lessons about boys before I have one.  Here are a few of the sillier things that have crossed my mind:

– I have no clue how to tie a tie.  My husband has informed me that most boy ties are clip-ons, so that’s helpful.  But, he’ll have to be the one to teach our son how to properly tie a tie one of these days.  I’m not one of those women like the ones on TV who ties her man’s ties.  Chris would be in big trouble if it were up to me!

– I need to figure out why boys think things on fire or exploding are entertaining.  The show “Mythbusters” is often based around this premise.  I have a feeling the explosions they often create are one reason the show continues to be successful and in production.  This fascination most definitely carries over into video games.  Just recently my husband showed me a video he’d made of himself playing the latest “Halo” game where he threw a grenade at a mech he hadn’t seen while he was jumping over it.  It caused a nice explosion and killed them both, but he was quite proud.

– I don’t know and don’t want to know how to burp on command and/or say things whilst burping.  This seems to be another popular feat with boys of all ages (and by that, I mean well into adulthood).

– I’ve never found jokes relating to bodily functions funny.  Boys seem to be just the opposite.  Even just saying certain words relating to bathroom functions make them giggle.  (Though, I’m guessing none of them would be happy that I refer to that as a giggle!)

– I have no desire to take things apart and figure out how they work.  I’m not sure all boys do this.  I’m guessing that some girls do this, too, but I’ve known way more boys who are intrigued by this kind of stuff.  And ended up with broken toasters, XBoxes, etc.

– While I’m a competitive person by nature, boys have a weird level of competitiveness even I don’t understand.  Like grown men participating in a doughnut eating contest at work.  Things like that.  I’m going to have to brace myself, I’m sure, for a day when my son will explain his actions by saying he was dared to do something or in a race of some sort.

– I’m a relatively quiet person, but I’m also like most females and like to talk through things and sometimes rehash a problem verbally a few times to come up with a solution.  Boys are different.  My husband tends to just decide and do something.  He doesn’t have to discuss everything.  After dealing with such a verbal daughter, I’m guessing I may have to adjust to a quieter son.  Or he may surprise me and be just as talkative and outgoing as my girl.  Who knows?

– I’m going to have to figure out boy hairstyles.  One of these days, he’ll do his own hair.  But, until then, I’ll have to come up with something whether it’s a buzz cut or whatever.  Right now, mostly, I’m just wondering if we’ll again beat all the odds and end up with a redhead and if his hair will be curly like mine and his sister’s or straight like his dad’s.  I’ll probably also have to get used to him not caring so much about his hair.  Lexiana sits very patiently for me to comb and style her hair (aka tame her curls into submission).  I’m a bit dubious that her brother will be as patient when it comes to things like that.

There are lots of things about boys I don’t understand.  But, I remind myself there is a lot my husband doesn’t understand about girls.  He sometimes rolls his eyes at our dramatic reactions or sensitivity that brings us to tears quickly.  These characteristics are strongly personified in our 3-year-old daughter who lives in each moment without much filter.  However, he does a great job as her dad.  He may not always understand her quirks that are unique to her and her gender, but he’s patient with her, loves her and takes awesome care of her.  I’m guessing I may be the same way.  I’m sure I won’t always understand where my son is coming from (and for that matter, I don’t always understand where my daughter is coming from!), but I can still be patient, supportive and loving.

In the meantime, I’m viewing the world around me with a different perspective.  I watch TV shows and think about how boys really are different from girls.  I look at a group of middle school boys I’m driving by and think one day I’ll have one of those.  In the past, I’ve seen boys and prayed for my daughter’s decision to find a good one one of these days when she’s dating and eventually marrying.  Now I still pray for that, but I also pray to raise a good man who will be respectful to his peers of both genders and that he’ll find a good woman with whom to share his life years from now.

Motherhood is full of lots of surprises.  I know there are lots more in store for me.  Raising a son will have its own unique challenges as does raising a daughter.  But, we’ll get through them, right?  I will reserve the right to an occasional eyeroll, though!

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