I was raised with girls. Sisters, sisters, and more sisters. By the time a sweet little boy came around, he was more of a doll or a toy than a play mate. I left the house before he was half way through elementary. Other than as dates or my husband, I've always been a bit afraid of boys. I don't understand their sense of humor and know that they see me as the epitome of that strange breed, the female. When I get extremely frustrated with my (gasp!) daughter who wipes boogers on walls, Briz laughs and says, "It's a good thing you didn't have any boys." All the things that drive you crazy about ________ are boy traits."
Well, I am mothering my niece and nephew this week while the parents are off on exotic locations and must admit I was a bit afraid of Cody. I don't speak boy. I'm not fun for boys. I do tea parties, I don't pass the ball well, or make lewd jokes. I'm not even funny. My fears were baseless. The little fellow has quite stolen my heart. I trudge downstairs bleary eyed and messy in the morning and am greeted with the most pleased, "Mum! Mum!" My own girls aren't half so excited to see me as he is every few minutes when he has found me again. He isn't satisfied to watch T.V. unless he has grabbed me by the shirt and plopped me in a chair and crept onto my lap.
Today was one of those days. Lack of sleep for 3 nights left me at the edge of sanity. An angry sick daughter and numerous commitments pushed the envelope further. Briz wanted to go with friends to the basketball game of the season. He's been a bit stressed and down lately and I need to care for him too, so although it was the worst possible day, I agreed, graciously I might add. At 5:00 p.m. tensions had reached their peak. Play-dates were leaving, Sunshine was off to Tae Kwon Do, homework is starting, everyone wants to craft valentines tonight, everyone is hungry and grumpy. I hear my name called from every direction. I think that this is what schizophrenia is like , except no saving angel is coming to take me away to the happy farm. Near tears, I crouch behind a wall where none of the little voices can find me. I hear them calling, but I need a moment to compose. I silently plead for help, once, twice, three times. I stand up, Cody hears me and rushes in with an excited and pleased, "Mum! Mum!" He grabs my face and plants several sloppy ones all over me. My heart warms.
At 6:30 three of my friend Tara's boys come over. She has New Beginnings tonight and no one to take the kids and I KNOW how that goes. I live that story. So they join us and now we have 8 kids under 11. One is sick, two are tired, and the rest are so excited that they scream as they race through the house. I put the three boys to work rolling cookies and making frosting.
Then I pulled out the peanut butter clay which worked well until Little Mother decided to add extra powdered sugar to everyone's mat and make "wheat".
We had wheat in every crack and crevice in the kitchen.
After my little ones were sent to bed for poor choices, I had time alone with the boys. "They don't want to be with me" I thought. "I'll just sit near them and read." But, Braden approached me with conversation that continued in a steady stream as I moved about the house to tidy our construction sized mess. "Have you read Septimus Heap? How about Treasure Island? Do you like black licorice? Check out my crystal." As my misgivings subsided, we began discoveries together. We studied his amethyst and looked up strange facts. He frosted cookies and made quite the companion.
Soon, all the boys wanted to join my "club". So we made paper hats, paper boats, and everyone's favorite, paper water bombs. I did err significantly on the female side when I kissed Tyler on the forehead. I immediately realized my mistake as I did it. "Oh honey, will you please forgive me? I forgot how much you hate kisses." I begged. Very matter of factly he replied, "Yes, I'll forgive you for a spoonful of frosting." Oh, if everyone were so quick to forgive.
The boys left just before 10:00 p.m. Briz returned 10 minutes later, rather surprised to find me still standing. As I reflect on my day, I realize that I am still in one piece because of the boys in my life today. They offered love, companionship, entertainment, and wonder with NO DRAMA. I think I am rather fond of boys. Some day when my girls bring home some lucky guys to spend their lives with, I think they'll find a rather eager mother-in-law. I hope they'll like to discuss famous battles, float boats, and watch turtles lay eggs like we did tonight. I hope they wont wipe boogers on my walls. I hope they'll let me kiss them, but if not, maybe we'll just throw water bombs at each other and they'll get the message that I love them.