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Life with Boys or Why Boy-ness Should be a Word


I really believe that boys and girls are completely different.  By saying this I don’t believe one gender is better, I just believe they are different.  We don’t communicate the same.  We don’t look at things the exact same way.  We’re just different.  I don’t believe every boy likes trucks, just like every girl doesn’t dream of her wedding.  But for the most parts, we’re different.  I don’t believe I should expect my boys to behave like girls.  They learn differently and express their feelings in ways that girls don’t. Part of my job as a Mother is to recognize this and understand that things I would do might not work for them.

This past weekend was the first time I really experienced how my life was going to unfold.  Unravel is probably a better word.  My boys were so Boy-ish I was actually shocked and unsure of how to handle things.  And by “handle” I mean, what the hell was I going to do.  They were in the zone of their gender.  Wrestling was their way of saying, “I love you Brother.”  One second they’d be belly-laughing.  The following second one would be on the verge of tears because an eye got poked.  And then laughter would errupt because someone farted.  I fought every single ounce of my Momma-ness/Girl-ness.  That much wrestling and rough-housing doesn’t seem natural.  I wanted to scream, “Stop!  Before you break your arm!”  But I didn’t.

They had a balance.  Becks would laugh.  Cooper would continue with that action.  Becks would jiggle and Coop would start to laugh.  One would wait and the other would pounce.  One would beg “Hit me in the face with a pillow.”  And the other one would do it.  Twenty times and the last one would hurt.  I didn’t play like this.  My mom claims it’s because she wouldn’t let us.  I argue that girls don’t play like this.  We’re civilized…

When they started mooning us and farting on command (I swear it seemed like they could will gas towards the end of the chaos), I sat there stunned and silent.  This is life with boys.  No one was hurting.  No was arguing.  This wasn’t behavior I was worried would show up in the grocery.  This was them playing.  And my role was defined as the quiet but solemn referee.  You have no idea how difficult that was for me.


If this makes no sense to you, you don’t have more than one of the same gender living in your house.  A house full of girls would act very different.  I’ve seen it.  My sister tried to argue with me once about my defense of Boy-ness.  She has a girl and boy.  It’s different.  Not better.  She wouldn’t get it.  My mother with a house of three girls and one boy wouldn’t get it either.  And I won’t really understand my SIL’s house with three girls.

And I’m not excusing my kids’ behavior.  They weren’t angry or disrespectful to me or each other.  My kids’ behavior isn’t wrong.  I don’t think when they’re angry with me, I’ll get punched in the eye.  And if it did happen, I would never excuse the behavior because of their gender.  Violence is always wrong.  I also don’t think that they’ll grow up trying to playfully wrestle their professors if they get an A+.  Right now, it’s how they’re wired.  Every now and then, this is how they hug.  And this is how they show their love.


It all ended well.  No one has a black eye.  It didn’t go on for hours.  I stopped the action a few times.  Coop was gentle when he needed to be.  Becks was able to dominate a couple times.  And my husband, one of three boys, reassured me by saying, “This is normal.  It’s ok.”