Monday, January 30, 2017

Yes, I Have All Boys; What's It To You?????

It was in Walmart when it happened...........because EVERY good story happens in Walmart. (Remember this story.)  It was one of those rare days when all three boys were home, and apparently bored, so they decided to accompany me on my shopping trip.

We were in the cleaning supplies aisle, when I first heard her voice.  "Three boys, huh?  Awwww".

It was the "Awwww" that caught me off guard.  As a seasoned mom of 3 boys, I knew immediately where this conversation was headed.  Usually I just laugh and smile, and if I'm feeling particularly salty, before they can say it themselves, I tell them how full my hands are.  I turned to see a mom, who looked relatively close to my age, but her boy/girl twins were far younger than my own children.

I laughed and said, "Yup, three boys".  I had to bite my tongue from adding a smarmy remark like, "I really should be stocking up on bleach.  You'd be amazed how often they still miss the toilet".  I don't think she would have appreciated my humor, since it looked like her kids were still in diapers.

I turned my attention back to the shampoo, realizing that it was probably time to pick up some more hair dye.

"But you won't get to go to dance classes, or Girl Scouts.  Don't you just want one more and hope it's a girl?"

I cringed.

I completely understand that 85% of these comments come from well meaning places.  I'm a girl, and therefore I must want more like me!  Girls are the best, I should know because I am one.  What could I possibly have in common with a hairy little beast who will one day just leave me for another woman.

In my experience, these comments usually come from mothers with young girls.  Rarely have I ever met another mom of all boys ever say to me, "I wish one of them had been a girl"; even as a joke.

I've learned that mothers of all boys are a special kind of crazy, and I am honored to be part of a club full of Lego towers, Nerf wars, and bathrooms that will always smell like the NYC subway -- and I get it!  We're kind of like an enigma.  As women, why wouldn't we want to raise someone with whom we could braid their hair, and paint their nails, and sit through 8 hours of dance recitals on Saturdays with?

Allow me to let you in on a little secret.  My identity isn't suddenly lost on me because I'm the mother of all boys.  I'm not any less "girl" because I'm not raising a daughter, and as far as I know, a little piece of me hasn't died because I can't braid my sons' hair, or paint their nail,s or go shopping with them for a prom dress.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't feel like I'm missing out on ANYTHING when it comes to being a mother, solely because I'm a mother to only boys.....and you shouldn't either. I promise you that these three boys bring me more joy than I ever though imaginable, and mothering them, in all their testosterone-fueled glory, is right where I'm supposed to be.

Do I tell her that when my third and final baby was a boy that of course I felt a twinge of sadness and mourned right then and there the fact that I would never experience that wonderful mother/daughter bond that I have with my own mother; the one that has brought me so much joy -- or is that a silly conversation to have here among the shampoo and conditioner.

I wasn't sure if I should excuse myself and pretend I didn't hear her, or if maybe I should tell her that there are so many other things that I will get to enjoy as a mother of all boys.  Or maybe I should just turn and bolt, because that wouldn't be at all awkward, right?

"My mom is already the best girl there is."

And from another;

"Our family is perfect the way it is."

And finally --

"Moms got her hands full as it is.  She'd go crazy with another kid".

I have NEVER been more proud of my three boys than I was in that exact moment.  You know, I worry a lot about what they are hearing when someone says "You know, it's still not too late to try for a girl".  It hurts my heart to think that they'll internalize that, and feel as if they're not enough.  As if I could ever wish them to be anyone other than who they are.  As if their parts, or lack thereof makes a lick of difference to me.

It was in that exact moment that I realize I couldn't have said it any better myself.

I laughed.  "Nope.  These three right here are more than enough for me", I said with a smile, and as I turn to walk away, my 12 year old stops me in my tracks, gives me a high five and says "How's that for being on team mom"?

No, my friends, I'm not missing out on a thing.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Don't Let Them Pass You By

I LOVE a new year filled with a fresh start!  Growing up, I remember singing the following hymn.  This week it reached out to my heart. The lyrics ring true to me….

Improve the shining moments; 

Don't let them pass you by. 
Work while the sun is radiant; 
Work, for the night draws nigh. 
We cannot bid the sunbeams 
To lengthen out their stay, 
Nor can we ask the shadow 
To ever stay away.

2. Time flies on wings of lightning; 

We cannot call it back. 
It comes, then passes forward 
Along its onward track. 
And if we are not mindful, 
The chance will fade away, 
For life is quick in passing. 
'Tis as a single day.

3. As wintertime doth follow 

The pleasant summer days, 
So may our joys all vanish 
And pass far from our gaze. 
Then should we not endeavor 
Each day some point to gain, 
That we may here be useful 
And ev'ry wrong disdain?

4. Improve each shining moment. 

In this you are secure, 
For promptness bringeth safety 
And blessings rich and pure. 
Let prudence guide your actions; 
Be honest in your heart; 
And God will love and bless you 
And help to you impart.

Text and music: Robert B. Baird, 1855-1916

As I was looking back on some of my photos from 2016, I see so many cherished memories from the year. I look at pictures feeling like the events were just yesterday, yet see that they were months ago. I am SO grateful for photos and how they can bring a memory back to the mind. We are lucky to live in a day and age to be able to record everything around us. Our phones are attached, which means a camera is always on us.

I’m determined to not let the moments pass me by this year. Like the song says, “life is quick in passing, and if we aren’t mindful and aware the moment will fade away”. We “can’t call back time” but instead MUST take advantage of the here and now!

I’m excited for the new moments and memories of 2017!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Leave The Shore Behind

Staying close to the shoreline has its perks.  There is comfort in the shoreline.  There's safety. Familiarity.  When you stay close to the shoreline, it's easy to get out when the water gets rough, or you get bored.  In the shallow water, you know exactly what to expect.  You can see straight to the bottom and out across the horizon.  Next to the shoreline, you believe that you can see all that there is to see; all life has to offer.  But, you're wrong.

All that life has to offer does not exist at the shoreline.  When you leave the shoreline behind, that's when you come to discover what life really has to offer.  There's beauty, excitement, depth.  When you leave the shoreline behind, you discover things that you would have never dreamed could have existed from your place in the shallow water.  Your eyes are open to a world full of wonder.

But more important than that is what you find within yourself.  You discover bravery.  You discover strength.  You discover passion and desire.  Because when you leave the shore behind, you discover not only a world of endless wonder and possibility, but you discover just what you are capable of.

Life isn't meant to be lived next to the shoreline.  It shouldn't be lived in mediocrity.  Settling and playing it safe are not the way to live.  It's not living at all -- it's merely existing.

Stop playing it safe.  Find passion.  Passion in your work.  Passion in your hobbies.  Passion in love. Passion in life.

There will be days  full of rough water, when you miss the safety of the shoreline.  Days when you wonder why you ever left.  I promise you, though, those days will far be outnumbered by beauty, excitement and depth.

So, leave the shore behind.  Because the moment you do, you will be able to live the exciting, passion-filled, wonderful life you always imagined.

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