A friend of mine recently had her first child. It’s a “him”.

She is feeling ambivalent about the whole thing right now. Not about her baby, she is thrilled that she has a healthy child to love. Her fears are about mothering this baby as he becomes a boy.

Honey, I can relate. I was one of two girls. In our house, it was all about Barbie, pink, and tea parties. Even the dogs we had were all female. When my firstborn turned out to be a son, I wasn’t too sure about my mom ability either. This is where I have learned that children can teach you to believe in yourself.

As a mother, I have learned to pet a snake with aplomb, applaud jumps into deep water, shrug it off when large balls collide with small bodies, and develop a new appreciation for all living creatures. (Did you know there is a difference between an arachnid, an insect and a bug?) To be a good example to my boy, these have been a necessary part of my learning. The things that used to make my toes curl in horror are now everyday living to me-at least, I can make you think so anyway.

Having a son has also given me a new appreciation for the hidden sweetness that a boy has. Quick hugs with a sweaty head on my shoulder would have never appealed to me before he came along; now they are a delight.

Starting off with a boy was good practice. Once my girls came along, I was really prepared to teach them to be both girly and non girly. As a result, they also know the difference between an insect and a bug. They played a great game of softball last spring, although a good deal of time on the field was spent discussing hair ribbons rather than chasing grounders. They are all about Barbie’s, but can take down their brother if they work as a team. They love living things as much as he does, and save their money for pets like his. We are currently on Betta fish; having been through sea monkeys (they count), a tadpole, an ant farm, a hamster and various wildlife, caught and released in the back yard.

I am definitely benefiting from having a boy in my life.


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