I’m new to the world of mothering boys.
It started a little over two years ago, when our world was already quaking with big changes. I found out we would have a new baby in our arms that fall.
Then we found out it would be a boy.
My husband’s reaction was immediate. This was true with our daughters, too, but it was a very different reaction to this news of a boy.
“Oh boy,” he sighed. “We’re going to have to make some changes.” It turns out he was thinking of his own boyhood orneriness and anticipating what was to come.
I was just unsure of what I would do with a little boy. I figured I had things down, being on kid number three, but oh, how wrong I was!
In the 16 months of my son’s life, I’ve started looking differently at my husband and at St. Joseph and Jesus, too. Though I was raised with brothers, I’m finding that this role of “boy mom” is one that demands something different from me.
My little guy, who is a Joseph himself, is all boy. I don’t know what it says about me that I’m already pretty used to the sight of him on my table. (How he gets there when the chairs are pushed in or across the room, I’d rather not know.)
There is just something about having a son. My husband has been enjoying playing trucks and tractors with our boy, and when my brother-in-law has his construction equipment close by? Well, needless to say, we are all about being there and climbing all over it.
The two of them sit and watch sports (already!) and they’ll even include the girls when they watch John Wayne movies. On a recent weekend, when I was gone for three days, I came home and the boy still wasn’t speaking (I’m not worried), but he was mooing in three distinct ways (for the Mommy, the Daddy, and the Baby).
It’s still novel to have man socks and button-down shirts as part of my repertoire. It’s amusing to see my boy thinking about how to escape from the house, plotting how to take things apart, and interacting with anyone and everyone.
In all of this boy mom initiation of late, I’ve been turning to Mary. Did she watch, with a pitter-patter of her heart, as Joseph went all boy in the dirt with Jesus? Did Jesus monkey his way onto every teetering surface and clamber around with scraped knees and a hat sideways on his head?
Mary was always a woman — the woman — in the middle of the men. Can’t you just see her, in the midst of the disciples, with their rough-hewn, wind-blown looks and their gentle protective smiles?
I shifted from being his entire world a few short months ago into a new role. Now I’m his launching pad, the place where he starts and the person who ends up reeling him in at the end of playtime. It’s hard not to relate to Mary, not to see myself in her shadow and inspired by her example.
Now, pardon me, I have to go find out what my boy is climbing on…
Sarah Reinhard loves being a Catholic wife and mom. She’s been happily married for eight years and counting, and she and her husband have three children. She has authored a number of books and writes pretty frequently at her blog.
Visit Sarah’s blog: http://SnoringScholar.com/
Check out her books: http://SnoringScholar.com/my-books/
Sarah is on Twitter.
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