Before I had kids, I thought my perfect family would be two boys and a girl. I pictured my daughter and I having the close relationship I share with my mother. We would go shopping, get manicures, and whisper secrets. She would borrow my clothes and I’d tell her and her friends about all the stupid adolescent mistakes I made, while we ate cookies we baked together.
But that wasn’t to be.
I ended up with three high-energy boys (ages 8, 10, and 14) and a husband, who all are obsessed with sports and winning. I often wonder how someone who grew up on books, TV, and movies and still doesn’t understand how to get a first down in football ended up with a permanent seat in the bleachers.
I’m the blond-haired black sheep in my family. I’m a girl.
When I had my third healthy baby boy, any smidge of disappointment about his gender was quickly replaced with gratitude and relief.
While I was a pretty clueless teenager and young adult, I bloomed into a capable, confident mother. I knew how to parent boys and I was on a roll. Throwing a girl in there may have disrupted my swerve. Plus, the chances of me screwing her up were extremely high.
I believe you get what you’re supposed to get.
There are benefits to being the only chick in the house. There isn’t a ton of drama, and my guys don’t hold a grudge. None of them really care how I look and so far, they don’t judge me.
So I find my moments with my boys. I may not love the 24/7 sports engagement…their dirty, smelly, slovenly ways…or their complete disregard for my feelings most of the time. But I’ve found common ground with each of them.
My oldest is a huge gossip. His uncanny ability to listen to two conversations at once and remember details about people and events serves us both well. He loves to hear any story I tell — old or new-- about strangers or friends. We’re both fascinated by people and why they do the crazy things they do.
My middle son is my sensitive, deep thinker. The other day we curled up on the couch and watched the coming of age movie, “The Way, Way Back,” and when the bittersweet ending came, both of us sobbed. He snuggled with me under a blanket and we watched the entire roll of credits, tears splashing down our faces.
My little guy is my style maven. He cares about his clothes and understands the difference between clashing and matching. He’s my go-to when I need an opinion on which outfit is more flattering or cool. When I wear something new, he actually notices, and is the first to compliment me on a haircut or new pair of shoes.
I love being the mom of three boys.
You get what you’re supposed to get, and then you find what you need.