Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Legacy Revealed

(Originally posted 05/06. It's one of my favorites, but not one of my high profile pieces. I hope you enjoy it.)

I am the Mother of boys. Only boys.

Most of the time, this suits me just fine. I have little patience for female histrionics, melodrama and backbiting whether it be from girls or grown women.

But I cried when it was revealed by a ghostly image in a dimly lit room, that my first child was a boy. I had no brothers and boy children were a mystery to me. I felt completely at ease with the thought of mothering girl children, but I was gripped by the fear that I would be woefully inept at raising a boy. That fear evaporated of course, the moment he was laid on my breast, tiny and squalling and covered in my blood.

I would learn.

Years later it's funny to reflect on that. I can't imagine life with girls. I can't imagine life without boys. We do pretty well my men and me.

But because of gender differences, it's hard to see myself in my boy children and sometimes it makes me feel a little melancholy. I would have liked a girl to remind myself of me. I would have loved to hear people say that she is my spit and image as they say about my youngest son and my husband. Or that she is a little Mommy like I was at that age. Or that she can't keep her nose out of a book. For that reason, I sometimes really miss the girl child that I will never have.

Late the other night as I sat in front of the computer bleary eyed; really too tired to write, but determined to take advantage of the rare moment of absolute peace and quiet, my youngest son stole down the steps and timidly called out to me.

"Mom?"

I was annoyed at having my solitude disrupted. With ill-concealed impatience, I snapped at him.

"WHAT??"

There was a moment of silence, during which I assume, he was contemplating whether it was prudent to continue.

"Ummmm, Mom, I can't sleep. Can I come down and talk to you?"

I softened a little. I've been an insomniac for years and I can relate to the torture of lying in bed unable to sleep; body willing, but mind awhirl.

"Come on down and tell me about it." I called.

He traipsed down the stairs and appeared before me squinting in the lamplight, blonde hair sticking up in riotous disarrary. Toothless and freckled, and wearing only his tighty whities, he was a sight that rendered me completely incapable of holding onto my irritation.

I pulled him onto my lap, ignoring the fact that his legs dangled nearly to the floor. Since we were alone, his dignity was not affronted and he did not resist, but settled against me with satisfying bonelessness.

"What is it Diminutive One?" I asked as I tried to smooth the peaks and whorls in his hair.

He sighed heavily, and replied, "Well...I've been thinking about my story...."

He'd been working dilligently for weeks on a very detailed story chronicling the adventures of a valiant Knight and his evil nemesis.

"I keep thinking of things I want to write and I'm afraid I won't remember them in the morning. I feel like I want to write them down right now. I'll never be able to sleep if I don't."

In that moment, I saw myself in my son. I felt connected to him. I saw that some part of me would live on. I imagined a nameless faceless young descendant far in the future, earnestly scribbling his or her first story. I imagine someone saying to her with fondness..."You know...your great great grandmother B.A was a writer."

I hugged him hard enough to make him grunt, and said,

"Go work on your story. You have 30 minutes."

He grinned and scampered off, mindful of every second. And when I tucked him in thirty minutes later, his eyes drifted quickly shut, his mind at ease; divested of the words that burgeon within him unbidden.

That's my boy.

18 Comments:

  • At 6:23 AM, Blogger JMC said…

    Great post. I was the opposite - always saw myself raising boys, maybe because I was such a tomboy myself and figured I would have an easier time relating to boys. I ended up with four girls. Not one solitary boy. And I couldn't be happier with them. :)

     
  • At 6:45 AM, Anonymous cerebralmum said…

    I was SO happy when I found out I was having a boy. Knowing that this would most likely be my only child, I got what I desired most. I'm sure if I had been having a girl, I would have adjusted to the idea and loved her as much. But like you, I have little tolerance for the histrionics and spitefulness. I love the company of men, who are more laid back than me, with my masculine mind and my girlish passions. I find them peaceful. The idea of having someone the "spit and image" of me is something I would have found quite horrifying.

    Theoretically I hated the idea of what "she" would have to go through to become an adult, the things she would have to experience, the things she would have to fight, and the things she would have to learn to live with. I think I would have felt strengthened by all the knowledge I have of what being a female is like, I would have felt that I had much I could give to her, but I did not want to have to go through it all again.

    I love my boy so much, and I love that he reminds me of his father, whom he will never meet, but even at one he is already so much a "boy". And he complements me.

    It is difficult to understand or explain why any prospective mother would prefer one sex over the other. But I think many of us do until we are greeted by that most perfect human being at their birth. My mother famously said, during my sister's delivery, "If that's a boy, you can shove it back where it came from!"

    While I'm not spiritual at all, I sometimes think the universe gives mothers exactly what they need, whether it is what they wanted consciously or not. Realistically I know that we learn how to mother our own children best, of whatever sex or personality, that we grow with them, and logically that accounts for how right they seem to us. But it's hard not to credit a little magic when our children amaze us so.

     
  • At 7:21 AM, Blogger Terri said…

    You know, I often wonder what in the world I'd do if I'd had two boys instead of girls. I also wonder if my husband ever secretly wishes we'd had at least one boy, but when I ask him, he assures me that he is happy with his two girls. I also think he is pleased as punch whenever someone tells him Becca is like a little female version of him. And she is--personality, looks, everything. But then my youngest is me all over and that is just scary for me sometimes.

     
  • At 8:55 AM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    Thank you. That was lovely.

    Sometimes my ten year old steals downstairs to beg for more time to read.

    They are so soft then.

     
  • At 8:56 AM, Blogger crazymumma said…

    (and I crave a boy)

     
  • At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Doug said…

    Just as you felt you'd be inept at raising a boy, you'd quickly learn to manage all the "baggage" that comes with a girl. My experience.....girls are high maintenance (at least my daughter is). We are in the midst of all the teenage drama and at this point, Dad can do nothing right.

    My son has always been the easy one to raise. In my case it's true....God only gives you as much as you can handle.

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You have a soft heart, my dear! I feel as though I wrote this myself - I am a mother of 2 boys and I share your sentiments...Awww!

    Mary

     
  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger flutter said…

    Cool to see he picked up on a talent so inherently you.

     
  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Cathy said…

    I love this.

     
  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jenn said…

    I'm sending this link to my sister, the Momma of three boys, and the sister of three girls.

    I was terrified when I found myself pregnant with Little A--afraid she'd be a boy--I'm still not convinced I'd know what to do with them.

    But the histrionics and drama? Yeah, there are many days I'd trade them for frogs and fist fights.

     
  • At 4:12 PM, Blogger painted maypole said…

    sweet story. good mommy

     
  • At 6:20 PM, Blogger Amy York said…

    Fantastic... I'm glad you were able to see yourself in him.
    I, too, have two boys. I can't imagine it any other way. But I won't say I don't enjoy my nieces and living vicariously through their mothers when I get to see them. ;)
    It's hard to find glimpses of me in them... but thankfully I'm not much of a girlie girl.

     
  • At 7:02 PM, Blogger laundrylessons said…

    The joy of parenting is to see how the bits and pieces of you are scattered among your children...hair color on this one, curve of the eyebrow on that one, and yes aptitudes count. Thanks for the lovely piece.

     
  • At 7:10 PM, Blogger Angela said…

    I never thought I would feel a conection with my son like I do.
    Little boys do have their magic.

     
  • At 8:49 PM, Blogger Linda said…

    Beautiful post. I have written extensively in the last few months about my only son (between two girls) who has now gone off to college. You won't regret moments like an extra thirty minutes to put down his thoughts. I still have pictures and thoughts from when my boy was that age. They mean nothing to him, everything to me.

     
  • At 10:32 PM, Blogger Phoenix said…

    This is a great post. Since I hadn't found you back then, it was new to me.

    I'm like that too. I love that he needed a few minutes to write down what was in his head. So cool.

     
  • At 2:47 PM, Blogger Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    This one hit close to home. I felt that way too--that I needed a little girl to see parts of myself in. But now, as I observe Eldest's love of words, Middle's quick impatience, and Baby's entire face (he IS my mini-me), I know I am in them. Oh yes.

     
  • At 7:15 PM, Blogger slouching mom said…

    Aww... I'm a little teary now.

     

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