A few days ago I confessed one of my great fears about welcoming a new baby boy into our lives. I was never much of a worrier… until my son came along. Something about being a mother awakened an ocean’s worth of fears and anxieties in me. It’s not one of my strongest suits as a mother, but I feel like it’s made me smarter, more thoughtful, more cautious and frankly, a wiser mom in some ways. Sometimes I have to hold my thoughts captive, but other times these worries and anxieties have guided me in making smart decisions about the way we raise our son.
A new fear crept up in me a few nights ago while reflecting on what a BOY our Little C is. He’s messy, dirty, reckless, brave, silly, smart, and strong. He loves cars and trucks and trains and planes. He loves being physical and will probably be an athlete. Many, many of his qualities come from his dad, and I love that so much (obviously, because I’m madly in love with his father). But… the tiniest part of me worries, in a house of of boys, will they be a part of me too? Even being masculine, athletic, strong guys… will they have some part of their mother too? What part will it be? Will it be considered a weakness?
We’ve made a lot of efforts to instill daddy’s love of basketball and motorcycles and manly stuff into Little C’s life (and will likely do the same with Baby Boy Deux) and I lovingly went right along with it, because I LOVE having boys and have always wanted boys. But somewhere in there, I felt like I put my own qualities and passions aside, deciding they were too “girly” to teach my boys. They had to be manly men and no amount of baking or love of art should ever get in the way! Right?!
But, it is with delight that I have watched Little C develop a love of cooking and baking, not from me for the most part, but from his grandma (my mama). That kid LOVES to watch and help stir, lick beaters, watch the mixer and see things come out of the oven. It makes my heart so happy. Because of grandma’s influence, he will now make a dead RUN for the kitchen when I start mixing or working in the kitchen. Okay, mainly he’s motivated by licking the batter from the beaters, but still… it’s so sweet to see him stand and smile and point excitedly.
Then the other day, while waiting a fairly long time in the car, Little C started to get restless so I handed him my phone to keep him busy (don’t judge me!) and started him on Peek a Boo Barn. As predicted that didn’t hold him for long and after we started to head home, I heard the distinct sound of pictures being taken. LOTS of pictures. I tried to glance back and I thought, “Oh well, I can delete anything.” But… much to my delight when I finally got my phone, amid scads of shots of the back of my seat, Little C’s chubby thighs, and his finger over the lens, was this photo:
My TWO-YEAR-OLD boy took this photo! I couldn’t believe it. Excitedly I held it up to Mr C. “Look at this photo! This is actually pretty good!” The photographer in me felt a deep sense of pride and excitement, that this too could be something that we could share. Something he could look back and say, “My mom loved photography and she taught it to me, and now I love it.” Maybe that’s a crazy and irrational thought but it sure gave me hope that I AM an influence on my sons and that I will be a part of their wild, adventurous, active, crazy lives. And that equals one less worrisome, sleepless night. 😉