Sometimes it seems like men and women, boys and girls, mothers and sons live in a parallel universe. We are all in the same place, but we see different things and we see things differently.
Kids help us see the world through the eyes of a child. Boys help us see the world through the eyes of, well, boys.
Here are a few things I’ve learned since having a boy:
A new vocabulary. I have learned to describe and identify things that I did not generally talk about before. Tractor or construction equipment has been replaced with a dozen other words, such as loader, excavator, backhoe, scissor lift and cherry picker. The list goes on and on.
My son’s favorite book identifies and describes hundreds of different types of vehicles, locomotives, airplanes and boats.
One day a while back, he asked me to draw a jet. He is usually impressed with my stick figure drawings, but this time he looked at me and said, “No, mommy. That’s just an airplane!”
How to enjoy all types of weather. My son wants to be outside – period. I haven’t been able to contain him in the house since he was 18 months old. He broke through every lock, even the childproof ones that our adult guests could never figure out.
It doesn’t matter if it is hot, cold, raining, snowing or windy.
I spent my last pregnancy in rain boots trekking up and down the hills in the mud.
If it were up to me, I would have been inside with a fire going and banana bread in the oven, but I discovered that being outside, even in bad weather, can be refreshing, especially when you are witnessing the excitement of a little boy (who is no doubt going to need a bath).
Sounds. You’ve probably seen a Youtube video poking fun at how girls mimic sounds. The boys on the other hand can usually mimic just about any sound you name.
Besides having to learn how to make a convincing imitation of a revving engine (which I am still pretty horrible at), I’ve also had to learn to listen to and identify sounds.
I can now tell you, by sound, whether someone down the street is using a lawn mower, leaf blower, weed eater, hedge trimmer, drill, skill saw or chainsaw.
I’m not sure how this is going to help me in life, but at least my son is impressed.
To leave room for adventure. One of the biggest challenges for me as a mother has been to give my son room to explore, be adventurous and sometimes get hurt. My instincts are to say, “No! Don’t do that! You could trip!” or “No, there could be (bees, spiders, rodents, mud) over there!”
One day I saw my son running around with a large stick. I was tempted to tell him not to play with it (if he fell it could poke an eye out, etc.), but I stopped instead to see what he was doing.
He stopped at the top of a small hill, brandished his “sword,” shouted “To the rescue!” and then fell flat on his face. He looked up, brushed himself off, and took off again.
Obviously we have to set boundaries to keep our children safe, but sometimes you have to let them learn and get a few bumps and bruises along the way.
Having a boy has been an education, but it’s also been an adventure. I can’t wait to see what he is interested in next (as long as it isn’t snakes, bugs, spiders, or frogs).
I can now tell you, by sound, whether someone down the street is using a lawn mower, leaf blower...drill, skill saw or chainsaw.