Friday, February 26, 2010

Getting Bigger


Oh how they love to say this. "Look Mom! I'm getting bigger!" They do at times, seem to grow over night. How does this happen?? I can vividly remember bringing home Kadin at less than 5 lbs. Funny how you could have hefted my child easier than a pack of sugar. He fit right into the nook of my arm. I could nurse him and do things with both hands. His tininess astounded others, but to me, he was perfect. But as the days went by and he turned into a chunky monkey, I would hear the normal comments: "What do you feed that kid? Geeze? He's chunky!" Yep, I'd say proudly! He eats at Mom's and it's the best food around. At 10 lbs at 10 wks, I was so proud of him for 'getting bigger.' Now I feel the emotional ramifications of that. That tiny little preemie is now a strapping 10.5 yr old. His brothers every day are showing signs of new skills. The extra skin showing at the bottom of their pants are telling me that they are growing taller. It is more evident in Liam's face. Losing the toddler baby fat and growing into a little boy body. As I watch him walk up the stairs alternating steps, drinking from a cup with no lid, and going to the potty unassisted. I know he is 'getting bigger' but do I need to hear it from his own mouth every day??

I am so thankful every day that they are growing. That they are healthy and thriving in this world of ours that can be so harsh. I'm thankful for past milestones, and those not reached yet. For I remember every day that I do not know how long I will hold these hands that God has blessed me with. I want to live each moment of their getting bigger with my eyes wide open and my heart full.

I know life gets us down. There are stresses that we don't share. There are hardships that each of us endure in our hearts. But take a moment to look at the children around you and revel in their ability to find joy in getting bigger. They are the ones that will lead us one day. Teach them well. And love them more. For there is nothing better than to see the joy in a child's eyes as you clap and exclaim, "My!! How you are getting so big!"

Thursday, February 25, 2010

School Battles


So many times I am reminded of the stereotypes against boys. Especially in the school system. Boys are slower at this...boys can't sit still through that...boys are inferior in this...boys don't learn that....whatever. Sometimes, in the quiet, I think maybe I was given all boys so that I can champion them. So I can throw in people's faces the reality that kids are just kids. They all develop, learn, mature, in their own time. It is not gender related. How I hate those boundaries.

Maybe it comes from my own childhood. There was not a cross country team where I went to high school. But I ran summer track, junior olympics, and basically competed in running events year round. I was encouraged to run cross country to keep my mileage and training up. I was refused. My parents did not accept that answer and kept at the school and the school board until I was able to run with the boys. Running is all I ever wanted to do. And when I was young, I was good at it. But the battle did not stop there. I was harrassed by adults. Threatening phone calls and hurdles too high to climb over were placed in my way until I finally had to drop out of cross country. Much to the disappointment of my coach and male teammates. Several years later, our school had a cross country girls team. But I had already graduated so it was too late for me.

What I learned is that if you don't stand up for what you want, you won't get it. And what I want is equality for my boys in the classroom. My oldest, Kadin, is a model student. He does what he is supposed to. When he is supposed to. How he is supposed to do it. He never questions. He also will not give you more than you ask unless he is pushed. He 'yes ma'ms' everyone and is the model child. Oh, and he is a boy. He potty trained in a day and a half at 27 months. He read before he was 3. He can sit silently. He is the child who you would put in time out and forget where he was because he just sat there. His brother was more active, but very similar. Cullen potty trained in a day. Before he was 2. He read shortly after he turned 3. He is one of the youngest in his class due to his birthdate, but he excells. But he questions. He wants to know why. Why do this? Why do it that way? Why take this test? Why are things this way for girls and not for boys? Why do people think he is one way because he is a boy? Why? Why? Why? I love that about him. We never child proofed our homes until our third son came. He is also active, but quite sweet. He does things in his own time though. He didn't potty train until after he was 3 and it took months. He has no interest in learning to read on his own. He wants to have fun. To laugh and giggle. But he also asks why. Why are you doing that? Where are we going? Why are we doing it? What? When? Where? Who? He is just a million questions in one tiny body.

When I send my sons to school, I expect them to be seen as individuals. For their gifts to be assessed. I do not expect them to be labeled as a BOY and therefore not able to do thing. I do not agree with the whole concept of letting girls go first and then the boys. If my sons do something wrong, I want to know about it so it can be fixed. I don't want it to be considered "boy behavior" and therefore they get picked on more by teachers who are looking for them to fail or to act out. I will not put up with it. My boys know how to behave. The know the rules. They are good kids.

I will continue to make school visits to do the unpopular. To call people on the rug for their treatment of my boys, or boys in general. I will continue to tell people that their views are not indicative of all boys. I have three of them. I think I can say how all kids are different no matter what is between their legs. I have met awesome children of both genders. Just as I have encountered not so great kids of both genders. I encourage you, other moms of boys, to do the same. To stop seeing things in your home as "girl" or "boy" and start seeing them as "kid" behaviors. To stop allowing those gender lines to be smudged further. To champion your boys. Not to allow others to keep them down in today's world just because they are boys. Children will be children. No matter what. I expect nothing else. But do not tell me my boys are less. I will not accept that.

I am a boy mom. Hear me roar. And complain, and gripe, and well, you know...all that stuff "girls" do so well............whatever! ;)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Barbershop

I can remember many years ago when I first started going to the barber shop in Dublin, Ga. I felt like a fish out of water in the dark panneled room with stuffed animal heads and fish on the walls. The floor had never seen anything stronger than a broom and the magazines were all Hunting and Fishing. What secrets of the man's world would be revealed to me? What actually happened in a barber shop? Well, I'll tell ya. NOTHING. It was boring! The kids swiftly got their hair cut, a piece of gum, and were shooed out the door. :) But here in Mt. Vernon, the barber shop is a visiting area. I am more comfortable now, in this area of my life. I walk in, sit down, pick up a car magazine and go on. The barbers chit chat about fishing on Guntersville Lake. A subject near and dear to my heart. Not the fishing, but the lake. Guntersville lake is right by Albertville, AL where my second son was born. I can chit chat with the best of them. They talk about people in town. The good, the bad, the ugly. They crack me up! They talk about their grandkids, their youth, the way things used to be, and how things are ok now too. It is like being transformed into another world. The chairs are the same. Old, stiff, manly. But the people are so open, friendly, encouraging, and they love my boys. After suckers and gum are given to all, they all stop what they are doing while we march out and shout out: "See you next time! Have a great day, boys!" And for once, I look forward to the barber shop. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

contentment


Does anyone really feel this in their lives? Content. Feeling ok with how things are and the direction they are going? So many times, I have wanted more. Worried about catching up with the Jones's per say. Feeling that I have less than. Not only with my home, cars, clothes, jewelry, but also with my boys. I am a parent of one gender. I do not experience both sides of the fence. While I have watched many of my friends shop from both sides of the store, I have been left, half heartedly, on one side. Made to feel less than. Inadequate. A failure. All because my loins produced healthy boy children only.

As my boys grow, the less I allow myself to feel this way. The less I allow others to "make" me feel this way. Like I am missing out. That something in my life is intricately wrong because I have only one gender in my family. Seriously....I am less?? How so?

I have many friends who are raising only boys and others that are raising only girls. I love those moms. Those moms who know what I think and how I feel before I can even put it into words. Not that my both gender moms don't get it. But really, they don't "get it" like my single gender moms do.

I am content. My life is good. My boys are well adjusted and happy. My life is full. My husband is happy. For the most part, I don't think about parenting a daughter, much. And not for the bows, the clothes, the girly things that one would think of. But for the long term relationship with her. The one I see my friend Nina have with her engaged daughter. The planning for life. For adult relationships. But then I see the struggles I have, my friends have, their daughters have, and I know that I am right where I should be. Parenting boys and influencing girls. Just because I did not bear a girl child does not mean I cannot be important in the life of one. It does not mean that my old babysitters do not remember me and my life with my boys and see that as a positive thing. I am a role model no matter what. To mothers, to daughters, to other people as they walk through life.

And I best be aware of that with my words. With my actions. With my living in the moment and enjoying life. Not everyone we make eye contact with sees us. We are influetial to people beyond our scope. Remember that. Make your actions softer. Your words purer. Your love for God stronger. Make sure that others see you as you want to be seen.

I want others to see me as content. With my life. With living with my soul mate, and raising our boys. That my life is good. Maybe not as I envisioned it in my human mind's eye, but as God saw it for me. And I am growing into the role. This role I have as the mother of boys.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Little Liam


Oh how I adore this third child of mine. My "do over" baby. The child my mind's eye never knew I wanted and yet can't live without. He is so challenging, but also such joy. We are still trying to complete potty training. He does awesome with tee-tee, and has for awhile. It's been #2 that has escaped us. We are now proud owners of tiny bubble gum balls. The kid will try to poo for one bubble gum ball and actually go for two pieces. Cracks me up. He sits there on his tiny potty seat, straining like a man, and then will clap his hands with glee when he is successful. I love the little sayings that only come with potty training. He hits his thighs and says.."Come on out poopy! I want some gum!" or he will say.."Wow! I pooped TTTHHHHIIISSS (while spreading his arms out wide) big!" Things I will one day forget.

Thankfully, one day I will also forget the frustration in trying to train him. I am constantly hearing how boys are so much harder to potty train that girls. WHAT? I especially love mothers of one child (you guessed it, girls) who tell me this. And their basis is on what? They have trained so many children. Well, Liam is my third. I have only trained boys (or is it that they have trained me??). Kadin potty trained at 27 months in a day and a half. Yeah, that was so hard that I decided Cullen would be five before he trained. Nope, before he was 2, he trained in ONE DAY! So of course, Liam has been forever. Still within the "normal limits" of potty training, but way behind his brothers.

I have many theories on this. I'm not home constantly with him to take him to the pot whenever it crosses my mind. We are constantly out the door to one activity or another. He mostly has accidents in the evening when he is playing with his brothers and forgets to go. They are in the basement a lot, and not underfoot like when we lived in one story homes. But mostly, it's because he's my baby. My last one. So frankly, I don't really care to dedicate the time to potty train him. I know it will happen. Eventually. As much as I hate poopy underwear, this is the last time I will have to deal with it and that leaves me feeling a bit verclempt. Sick, isn't it?? Well, that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Now, where are those gumballs??? :)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yearly Dance Competition


I just got back from Emma's Dance Master's competition this weekend. A weekend full of girls, make up, dresses, and....well....hurried chaos. I love it. I dive in and only on my drive home remember to breathe. From the moment I load my suitcase into the car and say good bye to the boys, I am in Dance Aunt mode. Believe me, I know NOTHING about dance. I was horrid at it as a girl. Until my neices started doing it and actually got bearable to watch, I had no interest. What does a mom with boys know about dance?? Unless her boys are involved in it. And I admit, watching some of those guys dancing up there, I sigh. So strong and beautiful to watch.

But I digress! Each year, the dance competition has a theme. Each year, we have our own theme. There was the "first year" that I didn't go to. The second year was the "snow year." Last year was the "Aunt Kathy sick" year. This year it was the "forgotten shoes" year. Each year brings its own set of challenges, yet, it's own glee as well.

I love being with my sister and my oldest neice, Emma. They are so much fun. Lisa lets me help with make up and hair. We anxiously wait for Emma to dance her solos. Every time she does, I cry with pride. Then we dash around getting her ready or unready for the next dance. Hurry up and wait. Look at booty shorts and dance shoes. Talk about glitter make up and leotards. Make the girls eat. Shop at the candy store. Wish we had more time to go to the mall.

But through it all, there are those drama girls you can't escape. Oh My! Many times through the weekend, I say prayers to God. Thanking Him that He gave me boys. That all of this dance stuff is for my neice....not for me. Every time a daughter smarts off to her mother, has a meltdown, screams or hurts a friends feelings, I am reminded of how much I love raising boys. Sure, I get attitude. Sure my days are loud and busy. Sure my boys have frienship tiffs. But it is not the same. The stress and the drama are trifold. It makes me smile. And so very thankful.

As I get in the car to head home. I finally breathe. Another year down and yet, I have the dates reserved for next year already. I wouldn't miss this time for the world. But I am always eager to get home.......to my boys.

Starting Over


Since I lost my last blog on AuthorHouse, I thought it was time to begin a new adventure on blogspot. Stay tuned for some awesome stories about Raising Boys!