I was a bit of a tomboy when I was young. My brother was closer to me in age than my sisters, and so we did lots of things together. I played soccer with him and his friends, rode bikes with them, went snake hunting with them, played tackle football in the rain and mud with them. I am not afraid of mice, or snakes, or bugs, or any of the other things girls tend to get "squealy" about. I don't mind getting sweaty and dirty...as long as I don't have to sleep that way. I like to watch college basketball. I didn't start wearing make-up till I was in high school, and didn't really take it seriously till much later. Sweat pants, a ponytail, and flip flops will ALWAYS be my attire of choice. Even if I cave in to social pressures and dress in girly clothes, wear my hair down, and put on some mascara, you can rest assured that when I get home...its back to the sweats and ponytail. You can also be sure I am DREAMING of my sweats the whole time I am wearing anything else.
All these facts about myself led me to decide, as a girl, that I would be a good mom for boys. I could teach them how to correctly strike a soccer ball, how to cheer for the RIGHT basketball team (which is Kentucky, by the way) where to look to find the coolest bugs and snakes...I just KNEW I could be a cool mom for boys. I am pretty sure I even prayed that I would have some.
When I was 21 our first child was born, a sweet little baby girl. She was an angel from the start. Obedient, brilliant, kind. She just turned 10 this week and she is still all those things. I love having a daughter. We can paint our toenails together, watch sappy movies, get haircuts, go shopping...its wonderful to have a girl. I loved dressing her in pink frilly outfits when she was a baby. But I was not deterred in my desire for boys, and so when I was 23 we had another baby. A BOY!!!!! And when I was 26 we had another boy. And when I was 29 we had another boy.
"YAY!!!!!" my mind said. "I KNEW I would be a good mom for boys, and the Lord must have agreed with me!!! This is gonna be awesome!!!"
As I knew we would when I decided a lot of boys would be cool...we do LOTS of boy things around here. We play sword fighting, and kickball, and we chase and capture all kinds of creepy crawly things. My sons come to the table with their hands dirty (confession, I usually let that slide. Their hands are never the dirtiest part of them anyway) they pass gas and burp out loud all the time (and then they laugh about it...a lot.) and they never EVER remember to put their dirty clothes in the hamper. Just the other day I found Nate's dirty underwear back in his drawer. He said those were his favorite and he wanted to wear them again. I guess he doesn't have much faith in my laundry skills.
The thing I am realizing, though, is that you never really know what you are getting into when you ask the Lord for something. In my mind asking for sons was all about the bugs, and dirt, and sports. But OH MY GOSH no one told me about the rest of it.
They fight all the time about who is the strongest, or fastest, or who did something first. They have to be FORCED to bathe, but once they are in the tub, nothing on earth can get them out. And why does there always have to be a hurricane during bath time??? Why can't they ever play "Peace be still" while taking a bath?? And how hard is it to aim at a toilet?? Seriously? It can't possibly be as hard as they are making it seem.
Last week Clay filled a bucket with dirt and bugs and PUT IT IN HIS CLOSET. I found it several days later dumped in the floor...all the bugs were either dead or had disappeared, and I vacuumed the entire house hoping to suck them up before they laid eggs. The same week, Nate ran to go pee and (he says) forgot to check if the lid was up. THE LID!!! THE GIANT WHITE THINGS COVERING THE HOLE!!!!! He forgot...and I had to mop the floor twice. Also last week, Gabe ate bird poop at his brothers suggestion. I was so exasperated I didn't even know what to say to that.
So, not trying to scare you or anything, but it is NOT what you expect when you think it will be cool to be a mom for boys. There is a downside. You will ACTUALLY say things like "We do not pick our noses, wipe them on our swords, and then chase our sister with them." And you will keep a straight face, because if you crack a smile while saying it, you can BET it will happen again. You see what I mean? DOWNSIDE!
But, OH, the upside.
"Mom, you're the best cook in the world."
"I love you, Mommy."
"You are beautiful, Mommy!"
"Can we snuggle, Mom?"
"Mommy, can I play with your hair?"
"Mommy, I had a bad dream. Will you pray for me?"
"Mom, when I grow up I want to marry someone just like you."
It just melts my heart when they smile at me and say my name.
Which is probably good, because the sparkle in their eyes may not be out of love for me. It could be them trying not to laugh while telling me that they threw their action figures in the toilet to see if they could swim.
So, okay, God must have thought I would be able to handle boys, because He gave me three. But He was also aware that if He didn't make them cute...they would never survive. And He gave me a sweet girl to help sooth away SOME of the wild craziness. Man, He's clever.
Although, my daughter is kinds of a tomboy too. She is right there with us chasing bugs, playing sports, wrestling, and watching superhero movies. I was thinking the other day that she would make a good mom for boys. I wonder if she's thought that yet and asked God to give her sons one day. While I was mopping pee off the bathroom floor I may have considered telling her "WAIT!!!!! GIRLS NEVER MISS THE TOILET! PRAY FOR DAUGHTERS!!!"
But then one of those sweaty, dirty, mischievous little boys trotted into the room and asked me to kiss an 'owie' and make it better. And the upside won. I will let her pray for boys, if she wants too, and then when she calls me freaking out that they had a food fight at the dinner table...I will smile, and tell her "You prayed for this. Maybe God is reminding you to KEEP PRAYING while you're in it!!!! I know I had to!"
"Dear Lord, thank you for these boys. May they see You in everything they do. Grow them up to be mighty men for Your service. I won't ask You to keep them clean, or out of trouble, or even safe. Keep them close to You, Lord. That is my prayer. I desire that they seek You, and serve You, and be willing to share You with those around them for their whole lives. Help me to teach them well. Help me not to kill them!!! Help me to love them with abandon, the way that You love me, and to enjoy every minute I have them in my care. Or at least most of the minutes."
Gotta go. I have just been informed that someone has their head stuck in something and can't get it out.