I have always wanted to be a mom of boys. Though I wasn’t the girl who dreamed of marriage and motherhood all through the tween, teen and twenties years, I had hoped to get married and to eventually have kids and in that dream, I somehow always pictured boys. Reckless, dirty, crazy, active boys. This is quite surprising considering I’ve always been a bit of a girly girl. I love girly stuff. Pink. Scented. Sparkly. Yes! But something about actually having girls terrified me.
I understand the male species. They are simple. They are easy. There are non-dramatic. They are straightforward.
Then I had Little C… and I started to wonder if I was cut out for boys. In a matter of weeks within Little C learning to walk there were bumps on the head, split lips, crashing and burning on the tile, carpet and pavement. And each time he fell and subsequently cried, my anxiety grew. Little C has not slowed down his active life. There have now been a shocking amount of split lips in his nearly 3 years of life, along with cuts, bruises, scrapes, black eyes, burns and more. “Ouchies” are a fairly constant thing in our home. So is the presence of a first aid kit and the request for, “more band aids.” Because Baby B wants to do everything that his big brother does (and he’s only 7 months!) I know I am in for a lot more of this.
Today while taking our daily walk to the mail box, Little C suddenly sprinted away from me shouting, “Mama, I go fast fast fast!” I laughed and encouraged him on, though my anxiety grew as he started to pass the “safe distance” from me and go careening into the “panic” distance. The distance that has me thinking of car accidents, stranger danger, painful falls and worse. I’m an anxious mom. I know this and I’ve come to embrace it and simultaneously force myself to calm down. I know that my boys need to practice their independence and I know that I need to encourage it. In that tiny moment though I took a deep breath and realized that right before me was a symbolic demonstration of what will become of my sons and I.
They started out clinging to me and needing me every single moment. I have had to remind myself on especially exhausting days that this will be fleeting and to enjoy it (though it has been tiresome with Baby B who is very very dependent on me). As time progresses and they grow more independent I know that the “distance” between us will increase and increase until they reach a time where they will be in that “panic zone” and will eventually run out into their own world. And I will be forced to encourage them on into greater things. Into making decisions on their own and eventually marrying and raising their own families.
Oh the sting of that thought! There is joy, fear, anxiety, pain and excitement all rolled into one. I am both eager for my boys to grow into independent men and painfully sad that they will do so and no longer be 100% mine. It’s a strange existence to be exhausted by your children and wish they would just grow up a bit and start doing more for themselves, while also feeling very attached to them and not willing to let them get any older, clinging to each moment and wishing that time would just slow down.
Tonight, Little C abruptly turned and ran his way back to me. I smiled, laughed and told him how crazy fast he was, slapping his tiny hand with a high five as he breezed past me. The mama heart in me explodes with joy for these moments, right now, where he will run towards me. Then I send up tiny prayers for God to guide me through the days where he starts to move away from me.