Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Letters: the boy thing

Dear Progeny -

It's a mystery to me how a girl like me found herself in the land of little men.  Somehow I managed to overlook this possibility when I assumed and embraced motherhood.  There were inevitably a lot of things I missed in my imaginary debriefing.  Kamikaze climbing, methodical speed-dumping, incurable bed-wetting, and a complete incapability for sitting still.  These are the things that make me tired these days.

I am tired, and often frustrated.  But never for a moment am I looking for a way out.

As God would have it, there were other things I didn't adequately anticipate when I took the leap.  I never knew about the way my heart would dance at a baby's first smile, or how perfect a sleeping newborn would feel curled up on my chest.  I certainly didn't realize how much more I would laugh as a mom, both with and at my boys.   I never anticipated how strong the instincts to kiss pudgy cheeks and babble baby talk would be.

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I never knew how good it would feel to be so overwhelmingly needed.  How much I needed to be needed.

I never knew how fulfilling it would be to have moments when my children do the best things without provocation, or when they become enraptured with things I already love.

And I certainly didn't know about the sunlit song a mother heart sings when a crying boy can only be consoled by her.

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Clearly I was under-informed.  Luckily I made the right choice anyhow.

It is hard - oh so hard - to stay with it all every minute of every day.  The hard part is the relentless nature of the beast.  Anyone can pull an all-nighter or watch a rowdy crop of kids for a few hours.  It's the sleepless nights for months on end - the never ever being able to turn your back on your boys that tests you and
stretches you and makes you wonder how you ever found life difficult before you had kids.

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(Side note - while I was typing that paragraph my children earnestly endeavored self-endangerment.  If they live to adulthood there will surely be scores of guardian angels involved. - That's the vague version.)

I would not trade my boys for rest or leisure or even for peace - but I am beginning to think I'm earning a pretty posh nursing home for my old age.  If we all live that long; and I hope we do.  I'm endlessly curious about the adults these boys are becoming.

In the meantime, dear boys, cut me some slack.  A few low-key waking hours might be good for all of us.

Love, mom

5 comments:

K-Krew said...

Just reading your side note made my heart stop so I can't imagine being there in-person!

We also have mounds of artwork. Some go on the fridge, others in letters to friends and relatives and the rest find their way to the recycling bin. I did, however, make a book (thru shutterfly I think) of her artwork from preschool.

Shantay Hess said...

Scary!! But also wish the moment would have been on video! He was probably so proud of himself and was excited to get your attention! Love your little men!

aLi said...

Love love LOVED it. The 1 boy in my house drives me crazy, makes me so frustrated, and those things that you said... and oh my goodness I agree with you it is wonderful to be his mom. Super hard, I loved how you described what it is like being a mom of boys. The Kamikaze jumping and the endless energy and the relentless questions are very tiring. Months on end! I think you are getting a top spot at the posh senior cit center. And an even higher spot in heaven!!! Let's hope that spot is not too soon!

The Libutti Family said...

Em, you captured it beautifully, especially the relentless-ness of it all. I always say it's such a marathon, and anyone can sprint for a few feet...but to stick the whole thing out takes GUTS. I am just entering the world of active boys after two fairly calm- but altogether dramatic and clingy- girls. Thanks for a great post.

Paige Hanna said...

You kinda left me speechless. You and I are in the same boat, and it gives me peace knowing someone else is experiencing a life with 3 boys (and isn't completely crazy). You articulate it so well, which shows they can rob you of sleep, and patience, and showers, etc., but you still have your mind! (or at least, you do a good job of pretending you do : )

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