For most of my parenting life, I’ve been surrounded by a majority of females. Yes, I’m mother to four boys and four girls. However, because we’ve always opened our home to young people in need of sanctuary and because females have usually filled that live-in spot…I’ve been sheltered.
At one point, our household quotient consisted of: Myself, Katie, Kaitlyn, Emma, Brooklyn, Molly, Baleigh, and Lilly.
Steve used to take the boys out on the front porch to, “Spit and remember we’re men!” Drama was the norm of the day.
Until now that is.
With most of my girls grown and on their own, I suddenly find myself in the unenviable position of being in the minority.
Only my daughter Baleigh is still at home and even she left me to go to Kenya for two weeks. I learned something that I probably already suspected in those two weeks…
Boys are wired differently than girls.
Now, for you moms of sons, that’s not news at all. However, for my friends who are only raising daughters, this may be a startling revelation. Boys just think differently!
Let me share some examples with you.
While my daughter was gone, I decided to have a 6-boy sleepover. Yep! 3 middle school boys and 3 high school boys in my home for 24 hours.
It was a blast!
First of all, boys do not braid each other’s hair. Boys do not paint nails. And, boys definitely do not cry, get mad, hug, and make up. (All in the first 10 minutes) Here are some things that boys DO, do.
Boys trash talk. Yep, they’ve made an art out of reminding one another of their own superior knowledge and epic power.
Trash talk is especially evident when it comes to cars. Everywhere we drove, all six of them aired their superior knowledge regarding engines, tires, rims, and body types.
I sat behind the driver’s wheel thinking:
"Oh look, a Punch Buggy with flower decals!"
Obviously, I wasn’t invited to their car party.
Being with my boys for two weeks made me aware of how often I sound like my mother. “If you keep making that face, it’s going to freeze like that!”
Boys have funny quirks.
One of my son’s friends can’t keep his socks on. When it’s time for him to go home, it’s always a mad dash to find the missing socks…
I’ve found them on my bed…Ewww!
I’ve found them on my dining room table…Unacceptable!
Once, I found them on the shelf in my refrigerator…I’m speechless!
Honestly, it isn’t just boys that have funny quirks. I’m convinced they learn those quirks from their fathers.
Take FaceTime for example. When my husband FaceTime’s me from overseas I have a predictable reaction. I frantically rush for my hairbrush, brush my hair over one shoulder, and pose with my head high to avoid that double chin.
After all, I want to look pretty for my husband.
He on the other hand spends our FaceTime showing me his left ear. Or his nose. Or his tonsils.
Yep, boys (and their dads) are quirky!
Boys are noisy! They just can’t help it.
Boys wrestle! It’s in their DNA.
Boys know stats, and scores, and amps, and they know their MPGs. However, they don’t know where they left their backpack.
In some ways, boys can seem like an alien species. Loveable and huggable but alien, nonetheless.
Some would say we need to tame our boys. We need to make them more civilized. In fact, in order for them to be acceptable, they need to be more like us.
I say NO!
The same boys, who wrestle and make annoying noises and lose their backpacks, are the boys who treat their sisters like precious princesses.
The same boys, who forget to close the cupboards and leave their baseball gloves out in the rain, are the boys who ALWAYS check all the locks on all the doors when their dad is out of town.
The same boys, who know baseball stats, and football scores, and which fish are biting, are the boys that know when mom needs someone to stop and pray for her.
The same boys, who try to look so independent, are the boys who want to be just like their dad. They punctuate their sentences with, “Right Dad?” because they know he’s the model they want to imitate.
These boys are just how God intended. No, they’re not like me and that’s a wonderful thing!
In the King James version, I Corinthians 16:13 states, “Quit ye like men.” That doesn’t mean to quit being men! No, it means that our men and boys need to be becoming “even more” in their Biblical manhood.
We need boys who are growing up to be men!
So, how can I help these boys, these alien creatures in my home, develop their full potential?
I can cheer for their achievements and applaud their ideas!
I can encourage their adventures and enter into their imaginations!
I can praise their present character and pray for their future opportunities.
I can spend my days thanking God for their uniqueness, rather than rolling my eyes at their quirks.
Yes, boys will be boys and that, my friends, is a wonderful thing!