I have been writing and rewriting this post in my head for quite some time now. Since finding out that we get to add yet another rough and tumble little boy to our brood, I have gotten quite the reactions. Even leading up to finding out, there were a lot of assumptions that we obviously must have been "trying" for a girl. There were prayers said by others for a little girl, fingers crossed, hopeful wishes. And all the while, contrary to what most people thought, we were not "pining" for a girl. Our hopes and dreams were not wrapped up in little bows and sparkly shoes. Yes, I will admit that once upon a time (prior to even being married) I dreamed I would have a baby girl. I thought surely this girly girl would have one so that I could dress her in foo-foo dresses, wrap her golden locks in ribbons and bows, and take her to and fro from ballet dances. I thought, I needed a girl....she would be just what my world needed, just what God intended for me.
Fast forward to when I actually got married, got pregnant and waited anxiously to find out if my future would be painted with pink or blue. Blue it was. And immediately I was excited to raise a son to be the protector of his future sister.
Fast forward again, to the delivery room. The moment I held my boy chest to chest for the first time, the moment our eyes met, there was a love that pierced the air like I had never known. I became a mom to a boy. And guess what.....I fell head over heals in love with it. Quite literally, it took me by surprise how much I loved being a mama to a son. There is something so special, so unique about the bond that is shared. It is special, it is strong, a tie that is not easily shredded or broken. One that I forever get to hold and cherish and strengthen as we learn our way together.
When Bennett came along, it was the same realization. I grew fonder and fonder of raising boys. I loved watching their relationship expand and be tested. I enjoyed listening to the giggles, the banter, the wrestling. And now I love how all they need are some rocks to climb, two sticks....and their imaginary world is complete. When their imaginations soar, so do mine. I imagine this magic that they have entranced my life with. And I feel so blessed to be a mama to boys.
Seriously, I wish everyone got a chance to witness this magic.
The magic of sticks.
They even have "stick faces".
And then there is the magic of brothers being brothers.
And while others were praying for a little girl for us. I was praying for what we needed. I knew these sweet souls filled my heart in a way no other could have. I knew that legos and shovels and trucks and tractors had become such a joyful norm. And honestly, I wasn't sure how dolls and ballets would quite fit in. And yes, there was part of me that melted at the thought of a baby girl who would have the world's best defenders as brothers ( I mean, scroll back up to the stick pictures, they would have been great protectors!) I would have my future shoe shopper extraordinaire, my little princess, my ballet dancer and a sweet little girl that I could buy frilly girly things for.
But when the reveal showed us another boy. I knew.... I knew in my heart of hearts that he was just what we needed. He was perfect. He filled that piece in my heart that I had been praying for. He would be another little joy that would make this mama's heart burst with pride. Another little boy to sprinkle my world with the magic that little boys entail.
But what caught me off guard were the reactions from others. There have been moments my heart has been crushed a little by mindless expressions and words. And I'm sure they were not meant to harm or to hurt. But for a slight moments, they did. I cannot even count the many times when someone asks if we know what we will be having. And when I proudly proclaim another boy.....I get wide eyes, gasps of air.....quickly followed up with either, "wow your hands are going to be full" or "so are you going to try for a girl?" (sometimes said as more of a statement than a question)
Time and time again, I have had to ask myself, is there something wrong with having 3 boys? Why does it feel like people pity us for this? Why does it seem that having 3 boys is somehow rocking the "perfect" family boat. I actually can understand why this could be a very hard time for some families. why some moms could feel crushed, because that is what the reactions and facial expressions seem to exemplify.
And then I read a blog post about redefining family after gender disappointment. And it hit it on the nail. For some reason people have this perfect equation for the perfect family. And it most definitely does not include 3 boys and no girls. But wait a minute....
Raising boys is incredible, we get the chance to raise boys to become men....great men. We get to teach our boys to open car doors, to be respectful of woman, to be strong and courageous, but also tender and kind-hearted. We have the opportunity to raise leaders, to teach boys to love God and be bold for Him. To break into the darkness of this world and spread light. Not to say that raising girls isn't just as incredible, but I think raising men....especially in this age is going to be a great challenge. And I am trying my best to rely on the truth that God specifically planned them for us, so hopefully He trusts us enough to do so. And all I can do some days is pray that God will give me the strength, wisdom and discernment to endure such a big calling. Because it is just that, a big calling. Raising boys to become honorable, trustworthy and pure men is going to need a lot of prayer.
And ALOT of patience. Something God is trying to teach me over and over....and then some.
So despite those looks of pity, those downward lips, those wide-eyes....what you may see as unfortunate, we see as a blessing. We see as a great challenge of what God has called us to do. To be parents, to love, to teach, to grow with our boys We get to walk along 3 little munchkins as they find their path into adulthood. We get to take part in the ruggedness that it entails, and we get to embrace it with the most joyful of all hearts.
I thank God daily for my boys, for making me a mama, for blessing me with their sweetness. And if you look at me with pity-eyes, I'm going to invite you over. I'm going to ask you to come and experience the joy and magic firsthand. No, you won't find much pink, you won't get to sit in a quiet room while little ballerinas tip-toe and twirl. You can expect to find noise, pot lids that become symbols, sticks that welcome a pirate-dual-it-out-to-the-end, probably a brawl or two (or three), most likely cheerios that have clumsily been spilled, trucks that have been crashed, lego trucks that have met their fate, and trains hiding in about every nook and cranny that your eyes can see. It's not quiet, sometimes it's very loud, but it's beautiful. It's our beautiful.
And some little punkin is growing, he is determined to come out bigger than both brothers I fear. I think he is getting anxious to see what all the noise is all about.
Seriously, he's a strong little fella. And we can't wait for him to find his own stick and join in on that sword fights that are to be had.
We love you sweet boy, you are going to add just the perfect amount of noise to our already noisy home.
And that, is our reaction. Love, joy, and feeling the fullness of God's blessings. And embracing the noise.