Today I spent the afternoon at the Giants game with Wilson and my sons (ages 8, 10, and 13,) and as I was feigning interest in something called a Pick 6 play, I had a big-picture moment about being a mom of three boys.
I often find myself in situations I could have never expected. Like this weekend, when I froze my ass off in the bleachers for 4 hours as I watched my middle son play 2 fall baseball play off games. Or when I came dangerously close to sitting on the toilet in my bathroom, only to realize it was unflushed and the seat sprinkled with pee droplets. Or when I had to redirect the dinner conversation from fantasy football stats to anything non-sports related.
I’m the blond-haired black sheep in my family. I’m a girl.
There are benefits to being the only chick in the house. There isn’t a ton of drama, and my boys don’t hold a grudge. None of them really care how I look and so far, they don’t judge me.
Before I had kids, I thought my perfect family would be two boys and a girl. I pictured my daughter and I having the close relationship I share with my mother. We would get manicures, go shopping and whisper secrets. She would borrow my clothes and I’d tell her and her friends about all the stupid adolescent mistakes I made, while we ate cookies we baked together.
But that wasn’t to be.
When I had Eli– my third healthy baby boy– any smidge of disappointment about his gender was quickly replaced by gratitude and relief.
While I was a pretty clueless teenager, I bloomed into a capable, confident mother. I knew how to parent boys and I was on a roll. Throwing a girl in there may have disrupted my swerve. Plus, the chances of me screwing her up were extremely high.
I believe you get what you’re supposed to get.
So I find my moments with my boys. I may not love the 24/7 sports engagement…their dirty, smelly, slovenly ways…or their complete disregard for my feelings most of the time. But I’ve found common ground with each of them.
13-year-old Jacob is a huge gossip. His uncanny ability to listen to two conversations at once and remember details about people and events serves us both well. He loves to hear any story I tell — old or new, about strangers or friends. We’re both fascinated by people and why they do the crazy things they do.
Aden, 10, is my sensitive, deep thinker. The other day we curled up on the couch and watched a movie (it was “The Way, Way Back,” a coming of age story which I highly recommend) and when the bittersweet ending came, both of us sobbed. He snuggled with me under a blanket and we watched the entire roll of credits, tears splashing down our faces.
Eli is my style maven. He cares about his clothes and understands the difference between clashing and matching. He’s my go-to when I need an opinion on which outfit is more flattering or cool. When I wear something new, he actually notices, and is the first to compliment me on a haircut or new pair of shoes. He also loves accompanying me to the nail salon and even enjoys a manicure now and then. This week he chose blue for the Giants.
I love being the mom of three boys.
You get what you’re supposed to get, and then you find what you need.