Mama to boys

To this mama whose childhood was filled with only sisters, raising boys is all sorts of wonderful and wild.  What they bring to our family table, our family story, is vibrant and valued.  Full of surprises they are.









Like last week for example:  Out of the blue they put this tea table together for themselves and then made a place for me at their table!  I told them tea tables, even for boys, meant delightful polite conversation.  So they made sure to keep it that way.








They often take risks and like to push the envelope sometimes.  Like seeing just how far away they can be from the water dispenser.  Sometimes risks equate to emergency room trips which we’ve had our fair share of.








One boy can’t go to sleep at night until he finds me and prays for me.  He also writes the sweetest notes.  Like the one above.  “Do not forget that I love you”.








Possibly one of my most-treasured sights is seeing older boys and grown men snuggling with and loving on babies.  I love seeing big boys holding their little siblings’ hand but its a rare thing these days.  There is a paradox in it I suppose.  A great contrast.  Strength woven in with such tender newness.  A couple months ago a friends’ husband came to pick her up and our youngest jumped into his arms.  They’ve moved on from babies, as most of our friends have.  I watched her heart melt as he toted her around on his hip.   There is something I think most women find a little bit intoxicating about it.  Our oldest son has learned great patience in dealing with his toddler sister.  It certainly has its challenges.  But they are worthy and good that is for certain.  She loves to say goodnight and crawl into his bed for a quick book read.  And he has learned to love her love.









And I am learning, still with every passing day, to bask in all their love.  Six very different varieties of it.  All beautiful.  All a treasure for today.

Life lesson from little boys

Lesson #432:  A pee-saturated-pull-up from several days ago found whilst cleaning one’s bedroom for mama does not in fact make a worthy weapon to whack your brother with.

In fact it will, upon impact, detonate and spray urine-soaked-diaper-polymer all over the room.  It will stick to your mother’s clothing as she tries to clean it.  It will grind into the carpet as you try to pick it up with paper towels.  It smells really, really bad.  Your pregnant mother might gag and she probably won’t enjoy trying to pick each strange looking chunk off the carpet.

Using an old fashioned light saber would work much better.  Next time.

Lesson learned.

The joy of boys

While I’m not an expert on raising boys like my friend Kim who has been blessed with five boys, I am certainly learning a lot about a gender that I considered mostly a mystery.  Growing up with only sisters, I didn’t really know what life with little boys looked like until I had some.  After a strong-willed, sensitive, challenging first boy we were given a soft-spoken, calm, easy-going second born boy.  They are very different.

One reason we are really happy about homeschooling is that boys tend to need to move quite a bit, they can be loud, they often don’t naturally sit still for long periods, they are very curious and they love getting dirty.  Those characteristics, I believe, are intrinsic and don’t need to be fixed or tamed.  The way our American culture has feminized men has come at great costs.  That’s a whole other post and a can of worms I’ll leave closed today.

Just to say, that I am constantly learning and doing my best to allow the boys to be who they are.  Boys.  Messy, loud, creative, busy, active, wild, physical boys. This ‘boy nature’ doesn’t always fit well in an all day classroom setting and watching our boys be who they are is one of the great delights of home based learning for us.

Some days this means taking a snail break for Caleb:

Being outside is very calming for this high-need boy we have.  He needs time alone outdoors to help him reorganize. He collects snails by the dozens and carefully watches them and cares for them for hours a week right now.

Sometimes, like today all the kids find something to do together after we get some ‘table work’ done.  There are some fuzzy, friendly bees buzzing in a jar next to my hand while I type this.  The kids spent almost 2 hours capturing, studying, observing and being amazed by the incredible bees living in our rhododendron blossoms.

Audrey found a caterpillar on our walk today, brought it home in my coffee cup and carried around until naps.  She insisted on eating with it at lunch time:

Sometimes, boys at home means pain and sadness.  When we aren’t enjoying nature or good books, things can and do go awry.  Like last week when Kyler bit out of frustration at the injustice of his situation:

Or also last week, when Caleb silently took a pen to every single key of the precious piano that I grew up playing on:

And I was so very upset that I forbid myself to utter even a word and when Caleb was in tears because I could not speak to him I finally wrote him this note…

Lastly, in case you want to know, ziplocs can hold bees nicely in a pinch should you run out of mason jars….and mama’s can move very fast should a bee escape in the kitchen!