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Dear Girl Mom About to Have her First Boy

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I know you’ve been eyeing me for some time now. You wonder why my kids always have stained shirts. You wonder why they’re constantly bruised or scratched. You can’t figure out why my bathroom constantly smells a little like. . . well, it’s unpleasant. You sat on my couch and a matchbox car rolled out from behind a couch cushion. You ask me when I’m going to teach my kids about “inside voices.” You wonder why it always sounds like a medical emergency and/or bathroom emergency is happening in a zoo when you call me to chat. You say adorable things like, “I’ll bring some crayons so the kids can color while we talk.” and then you’re mystified when my kids eat the paper and shove the crayons up their noses.

My first two kids were boys. And you had girls.

You’re now getting ready to make the transition from a mom of only girls to a mom who experiences the full range of chaos that comes with having kids of both genders. Mama, you’re in for a wild ride.

You know the beauty and fun that comes from having darling girls who will join you in tea parties and dress-up games (although my little girls like to dress up like superheroes and fight with lightsabers because they have big brothers). You have shown up to places in coordinating outfits with your delightful daughters and people have gasped with the adorableness.

Boys come with their own fun and cuteness. But what you’ll notice most isn’t what’s different about them, but what is different about you because of them.

You become less judgey when you’re a mom of a son. Suddenly things that seemed like just bad parenting now make much more sense. Holes in the wall, spaghetti shoved in pants pockets, dresser drawers full of rocks (WHY), and toilets that appear to have been splatter painted by something you’d rather not know about—ALL of these situations go from terrible things that only happen to lax parents, to your everyday reality. And it’s okay. When you learn to roll with the kind of chaos that happens with boys, you learn to give grace to other moms when you walk into their home and see the tangle of yarn across their hallway and know immediately that someone was perfecting his Spiderman skills.

Having a son means learning to accept hugs that end in tackles and cheek kisses that involve a little too much tongue because someone was pretending to be a puppy. Affection from a little boy can be aggressive and often cloaked in silly games and surprises. It teaches you to enter their world so you can experience more. Sometimes if you want a hug you need to be the train that crashes into them or the frog that hopped into their pond or the Mama Bear looking for her cub.

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