We've just endured a particularly bad couple of weeks in terms of womens' safety and rights in Australia. Lots of dinosaur men behaving badly, marginalising women. Some neanderthal men, objectifying women. It's been ugly.
Luckily there are some amazingly great men amongst us too. A lot of them, even. A whole bunch of bloggers, lead by PottyMouthMama, are writing about BOYS today. I'm going to talk about two of my favourites:
Did you know that I had my first baby when I was 18? It's true. This sweet baby was a girl, which I feel was a good thing. The challenge of having a baby so young was made much less daunting by having a girl child. I knew about girls. There was a sense of familiarity. I had this covered. I WAS a girl, in fact, so this seemed like something I could do. And do it I did. Quite easily, I might say, with the benefit of zero expectations, youthful exuberance and 100% flexibility. Bam! We were our own little gang, my wee gal and I.
Many years after this first very excellent girl child, I had my first boy child, at 26. I remember very clearly looking at this peachy little boy with a deep sense of love and wonder and an overwhelming feeling that I was out of my depth. A BOY. Perhaps the opposite of me? Or a different kind of human at the very least? I was soon to find out. (It all went swimmingly.)
Four years later. Another boy. Different again. Ace too. Curly, twinkly, cheeky, even. This time experience had erased the gulp-y feelings and boy-different didn't seem as scary.
Far from daunting, different is, in fact, GREAT. Being different makes life less predictable, stops us taking each other for granted and offers a bit of step-back objectivity. These are all great things when you are trying to parent well. You can't run on foggy Mumma auto-pilot. You have to listen and learn instead. (Sometimes whilst bewildered!)
This all doesn't mean boys are more special. It doesn't mean that I approach being the mother of boys like the 'getting to know your alien foundling' bit in ET. But it does mean that their way of dealing with life is different to mine. That I've got learning to do. That boys keep me on my toes.
It's not a men are from Mars kind of thing. Nope. They are not from Mars. They are from Mums*. And every single day of my life they challenge me and my 'wisdom' in ways I can't predict.
I guess amidst all this important media/community talk about the differences between men and women, about teaching men/boys important things. I wanted to honour the differences. And celebrate the great things boys teach us.
When I think about my boys I think this: These boy kids are intuitive, interesting and funny. They call me out when I'm being an idiot and they sling an arm around me when I'm feeling low. If I'm grumpy they will ask me if I'm hungry. They are clear and to the point when they need to talk to me about stuff. They are boisterous and sensitive and kind. They are chirpy and reflective, friendly and private. They're the same as me. But completely and utterly different. They are mysterious, cluey, great dudes.
I'm looking forward to seeing them become mysterious, great men. *swells with pride*
Do you love boys? Are you into mysterious, great men too?!
NB: Being different doesn't mean we don't need equal rights though. We really do.
* and from Dads too.
More posts about Being The Mother Of A Son popping up during the day on these great blogs:23
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