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Boys R Us


I remember a time back when my sons were little when, up to my eyeballs in loud, hyperactive Cub Scouts, I mused to the mom helping me out that it might be nice if they were all calm, quiet little girls.
She rolled her eyes and said, “You don’t have any girls, do you?”
No. I don’t. There were never girls. I grew up with all boys. I gave birth to all boys. All my life it’s been boys, boys, boys.
As a child this wasn’t so bad except for the fact that all the hand-me-downs had a definite masculine slant, causing my mother to overdo it in the other direction when “dressing me up.” So I either looked like Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird or Little Bo Peep. And, while you would think this would be wonderful for a teenaged girl, all the guys surrounding me were relatives who hung out with each other rather than bring an eligible male around for their sister/cousin.
When it came time for me to have children, I thought surely I’d put in enough man-hours to deserve to give birth to at least one daughter. With confidence I made a deal with my husband that he could name the boys if I could name the girls.
But it was not to be. (I picked out the name Eliza, which I think is still a great name for a girl, if anyone wants to use it.)
Ironically, all our friends are in the opposite boat. Everyone we know has a plethora of girls. So, thankfully, just when I begin to feel sorry for myself, life reminds me that I probably wasn’t cut out to raise girls.
For instance: You know when you go into a Toys R Us and you see a pink glow in the distance? That is called “The Barbie Aisle.” I never have to go there and see what a cheap tart the once fashion-elegant icon has become.
And then there is the girl-noise, which is vastly different from boy-noise. Boys yell, stomp around and sweep through a room like a tornado. Not pleasant, but it’s better than, say, dental surgery. But I’ll open wide and say “ah” before subjecting myself to that screeching and screaming emitted by a group of little girls.

Yes, there are definite advantages to being the mother of only boys. I’m perfectly willing to give up the dubious honor of planning my daughter’s wedding, knowing I won’t be subjected to a cranky, spoiled Princess whose “special day” isn’t nearly as “special” as she’s been culturally brought up to expect. My sons will be perfectly willing to forgo the Victorian carriage pulled by four white horses for our old Outback with a fresh wax job.
The biggest advantage, though, is the worry. Now that the Heirs are of dating age, I realize that, while I worry that something they can’t handle might occur, the parents of their date are worrying that the “something” might be my son. This results in stern lectures prior to all “date-like” excursions, the same one every time over and over and over. I’m hoping that when things get a little out of hand, they’ll have listened to our haranguing so much that they’ll hear me in their heads the minute they try something untoward. I figure nothing spoils a sexually-charged moment like the sound of your mother’s voice.
You know the old saying: “A boy’s his mother’s ‘til he finds a wife; A girl is yours all her life?” I’m okay with that.
Most of the people I know who still have their children hanging around all the time are paying their bills and raising their kids for them. In fact, if I’ve done my job right, they’ll no longer be “mine” whether they find a wife or not.
Oh, I know I’ll never be the first phone call when my sons’ wives give birth. Odds are they’ll forget Mother’s Day and my birthday once they no longer have their father to remind them. And I don’t have the heart to turn holidays into The Family Feud, so Dirtman and I will adjust.
The fact is, boy or girl, our children weren’t placed on this earth to fulfill our own emotional needs. So anything that comes my way is gravy, as far as I’m concerned. As long as they grow to stand on their own two feet and give more to the world than they take away, Dirtman and I can pat ourselves on the back and move on, if necessary.
We plan to hit the dog show circuit and we like to travel. Maybe you’ll see us eating out in peace, probably with people our age. I’ll be the one dressed like Scout.

Share  Posted by Jeanne Jackson at 11:24 AM | Permalink

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