I have told this story, I'm sure, that I didn't expect to have boys. Maybe one. Someday. After girls. Surely girls would be first. I knew girls. Colin was born before sonograms could accurately predict gender and the military hospital forbid technicians from hazarding a guess. We were told not to even ask. We didn't. I knew anyway. It was a girl. It had to be.
I knew girls.
The male species was another story. There weren't a lot of them in my early life and I had a hard time picturing what it was you were supposed to do with them. I had cared for a few little boys as a babysitter, but I wasn't involved with footballs and bugs and wrestling. Loooooong (and loud) discussions about sports statistics and cars were completely foreign to me. Me, with my collection of Victoriana, my fondness for classical music and coordinating table linens. Maybe I wasn't sure where I would fit in there.
That anxiety fell away as the first blue blanket filled my arms. And then another. And another. Six all said, in two groups of three's. A mighty band of brothers who have run circles around me for a lot of years. They are loud. They are messy. Left five minutes in the same room, they are inevitably tumbling over the edge of the sofa or playing keepaway. They eat. A lot. I know this because I find apple cores and pop cans behind beds and on the bathroom windowsill.
They also send me music for my ipod when they hear something they think I might like. They suggest books or movies because the heroine "is just like you, Mom." They fix my phone app's and tell me how to figure out my computer. In a given day I have discussed how to know you are love, how we to decide how to vote, how to find the area of a triangle, and how to tie a shoe - all with equal gusto and sincerity - with one or another of them.
So I don't have to wonder anymore about how I fit into their world. They showed me.
Right in the middle. : )
You don't raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes.
~Walter M. Schirra, Sr.