I HAD to get dressed today (click HERE if you don't know what I'm talking about), but I won't complain because something really great happened. I love connecting with someone for the first time. Especially when it's unexpected.
I was a good mom (heh) and volunteered at the kids' school book fair. The librarian and I were chatting during a lull. We talked about our kids. She's a grandma. We both had three boys then a girl (I kept going with Sam, but that's not important). And the funny part, her daughter's name is Annie, too!
She told me stories about her boys, how they got into trouble more times than she could count, especially at school. I loved listening to her because living in a house with lots of boys is, well, unique. It's crazy...and awesome. And finding people who understand that is refreshing.
It's easy to feel judged by others when your boys are doing EXACTLY what boys do: getting into mischief, having wild ideas, doing things that are impossible for adults to reason through and might even balk at, etc. Like her, I've asked myself countless times, "WHAT AM I DOING WRONG WITH THESE BOYS?!" It's getting better as they get older, but I know I'm not out of the clear.
People laugh about the stuff boys do when they're younger, right? Why is it okay to laugh AFTER the fact and yet at the time the boy did whatever it is he did, people (besides his mother) label him a bad kid? I hate that.
(I see one kink in my argument: people can laugh at the antics of a little boy IF he's grown up to be a good man. If the boy becomes a serial killer or something, than his antics as a kid aren't quite as funny. They're labeled as precursors.)
Boys weren't meant to sit in chairs all day twiddling their thumbs. Boys were meant to be outside climbing trees, playing in the mud, catching bugs and squishing their guts, running around like banshees, having wild ideas and lacking foresight. As they grow, if they're taught, these things usually have a way of working themselves out. Usually. There's always exceptions (remember the serial killer).
I feel safe around moms of many boys. They have little room to judge and they know it (myself included). Life is never perfect with boys. It's messy. But like most people, we're trying to do the best we can, and that's about all we can do.
That lady today reminded me of that fact. If we love 'em, teach 'em, and give 'em room to run, chances are they'll be okay. Hope is a powerful thing.
I've never had lots of girls, so I'm not sure how that works. Is it the same?