Lately I've been reading more mom blogs and personal online essays about raising boys. They're fun to read to hear others' perspective on male children and the joys and challenges of raising them, and I hope to get a little insight. One part I still don't really understand is why I should expect a big difference in behavior in boys and girls while they are children. I mean, my sister and I did our fair share of wrestling (maybe I was the lesser willing of the two), tree climbing, dirt clod fighting, and truck playing. We captured frogs and played with LEGO and pretend swords. And when my niece was Geddy's age, she loved to climb up on the couch and dive off of it. What I'm getting at is that I'm used to girls getting dirty, being a bit reckless, and being physical. I always thought of these as part of being a kid.
Well, whether it's a boy trait, a kid essential, or simply a Geddy do, I'm trying to relish every self- head slap, "bonk," and "meep" from my son. He comes with batteries included and they never run out of juice. Climbing up the slide the wrong way just feels right to him. Dumping dirt and water all over the floor? All part of a good day. He wants to splash the water out of the bath, make his food fly, wear his bowl on his face, collect every rock he walks by, and yell at the top of his lungs. And if Mommy and Daddy say that's enough of that, he wants to do it again twenty times.
What can I do but smile and say "That's my boy" when he throws his little plastic balls into the hot hot toaster oven? How can I help but be proud when he spits all over and then paints his crib with saliva? When I try to avoid using the word No and come back with a "please-don't-do-that" instead, should I expect anything less than a hearty "[a]gin!"? He's all boy, all fun, and all our child. As he grows I'm sure the boyness will appear more clear, and even this part-time tomboy will see that Daddy has the inside scoop. But I hope my son will teach me what I need to know about raising a boy, and I hope I will always listen.