Tag Archives: mom of 3 boys

Three boys and a lady: how I mother males

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.

Young Giants fans at the game on carpoolcandy.com

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.

Mom and sons on carpoolcandy.com

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.

boy wearing nail polish on carpoolcandy.com

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.

Making sense of the male mind

The other day I was in the car with my family driving to my son’s basketball game. Three of my 12-year-old son, Jacob’s  friends (who are not on his team) were in the car too because — for reasons that escape me–  these boys enjoy spending every Saturday watching their friends play sports, as much as they like watching professionals on TV.

As we’re driving, one boy asked Jacob which team we were playing that day.  The conversation went something like this:

Sam:  “Dude, who are you playing today?”

Jacob: “We’re playing Ridgefield and we’re going to kill them!”

Avery: “Remember last year when you played Verona in the semis and they had that really tall kid?”

Jacob: “Yeah, we beat them and screwed up their season!”

Sam and Avery: “Oh yeah, that was sick! Wasn’t that the time Brandon went off and you had a ton of assists?”

Jacob: “Yeah, we beat them 53-50 and messed up their perfect record.”

Then my 9-year-old, Aden chimes in with yet another minute detail of a game that was played a year before, in another town.

the mind of a boy

As the mother of three little jocks, I should not be surprised by the level of minutia these boys remember about a sporting event. They spew stats and plays at each other all day long. On one level I’m impressed by their passion and commitment to sports, whether stockpiling information on their favorite pro teams or their own.

But what struck me that day in the car is that these are the same boys who can’t remember where they put their shoes 12 hours ago. The same squirts who lose track of their homework  somewhere between the kitchen table and their backpack 4 feet away.

I don’t get it.

Sometimes it’s baffling to live in a house full of males. They have their own shorthand that I will never understand. And their minds all seem to work the same way.

They could be late for school or practice and stare at a coat closet for 10 minutes, wondering why they’re there….and then wander off to kick a ball of some sort, without a care in the world about the task they just forgot.

If you ask my 9-year-old to locate something– say a hairbrush in his room– he’ll go up there and look around for 15 seconds before screaming “MOOOOOM I can’t find it.”

When I get upstairs, said hairbrush is usually in a drawer or under a pile of clothes. They take “looking” literally. They just glance around and never actually pick things up or open a drawer!

Wilson’s not much better. If I had a buck for every time he said “Have you seen  my…..” I’d be able to pay a butler to find things for him. But he can tell me the score of a Super Bowl game a decade ago or describe the comeback of the ’86 Mets as if it were yesterday.

Jacob can rattle off the stats of his favorite player on the University of Michigan basketball team on cue. He can tell you about Trey Burke’s unbelievable run, including his average points (18.6) and assists (7.3). He can also tell you what he ate for dinner on a vacation we took two years ago. But somehow he can’t remember to put a napkin on his lap when he eats.

They’re odd creatures, those little men of mine.

Maybe someday they’ll get a glimpse of how I see the world if they have the pleasure of living with a woman, or parenting a daughter.

I hope they do. Who else is going to find the hairbrush?