The word ‘boys’ is brought to you today by the letter B, and the numbers 2, and 7.
Boys: a remarkable creation. I can speak with some authority on this subject because I have 7 sons. Atticus and I have a mixed family — he has 3 children and I have 7. I’ve given birth to 5 boys and adopted into my heart 2 more.
It’s impossible to list the myriad reasons why I love my sons because I love them all for different things. In general, though, one of my favorite attributes of all of my boys is how they try so hard to promote a tough and manly persona to the world, yet they dissolve into obedient little servants when their 3-year-old sister bats her eyes. One minute they are smacking each other and fighting over the mashed potatoes, then the next they are snuggled with a baby on their lap or they are kneeling down for a hug saying, “Give me some sugar.”
It’s the tenderness that touches me so profoundly. They grew up without it in a home filled with abuse, ruled by a man full of hate and anger. They did not know the meaning of tenderness from a man’s point of view, but apart from him they are fostering their gentle spirits. They are allowed to be real men in our home and they have a wonderful step-father to help mentor them. My heart bursts with the knowledge that as they grow and mature, that loving spirit will grow along with them and by the time they are parents, they will be so much better at it than I am.
In the meantime, I’ll enjoy all the ups and downs that come with the boys — I mean, you can almost smell the testosterone when you walk in the front door. They have to one-up each other constantly. There’s a pecking order in our home and the boys are always trying to duke it out for the top spot.
But there’s a trip-wire they never see: those three confident, intelligent sisters with strong leadership skills. You want to see feminine wiles? Sit at our dining table when all of the kids and their significant others are with us. It doesn’t matter whether there are 5, 7, 9, or 100 boys around that table. They are outnumbered by my daughters — and they always will be.