5 Things Having a Boy Taught Me

I read this article entitled “11 Things Only Parents of Boys Understand” and smiled. Some of the things were definitely similar and relatable, but others I’m sure I will experience as Brennan ages. But, that list got me to think what things have I learned since having a boy? What are tips that I could share to other parents to prepare them? Have I learned anything or am I surprised by some of the things I’ve learned?

So, before we begin you must understand this…I never wanted children and when I did get pregnant, I knew it was a boy. I never doubted it. I didn’t need a girl, my sister already had a girl so a boy to love me unconditionally was perfect. My mom warned, “You could have a son that could be a daddy’s boy”. I scoffed and said, “Get real, he will adore his mother.” And you know what? He does. Now, he loves his daddy, but our bond is super strong and I love him more than I thought I could ever love someone.

His Hugs & Kisses Improve My Spirit

Whenever I feel overwhelmed with life or work, I just look to him to wrap his arms around me, kiss my cheek and say “Mommy, I love you.” It makes me smile and I begin to feel better. He is the best comforter I could ask for. Small in stature, but a big heart that beams with his love for me. Last year, I was going through an emotional rollercoaster and my son was the anchor that kept me together. I would literally have breakdowns and fall out on the floor and my son would come over and kiss me and hug me and say, “Mommy, I will protect you.” Not his job, but knowing that he was willing to protect me when I felt helpless improved my spirit and helped me to realize that I needed to get “a grip” because I am the adult and I need to be healthy and functioning for him.
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He Can Rationalize Anything

Brennan has always known his own mind and can rationalize any situation. Doesn’t mean that I agree with his rationalization, but I’m always impressed with how his mind works. Here’s an example: A couple of weeks ago his school had “Lockdown Drill” and he was telling me how he was the best hider and you have to be really quiet and hide so that no one knows you’re in the classroom or they may come in. I was mortified. I cried and his dad tried to calm me down saying “It’s okay. It’s the times we live in.” I was still hurt that my baby had to be taught that after the increased school shootings. He’s only six. The next night when I called him at his dad’s he said “Mommy, I need to talk to you about something.” I replied, “Okay, munch. What’s going on?” He said, “Mommy, daddy told me that you were sad yesterday when I was telling you about lockdown at school.” I said, “Yeah, I was kind of sad.” He said, “Mommy, you don’t need to be sad. Remember on Sunday when we were going to church and I saw that man get arrested and I said I hope I never get arrested and you said, you won’t because even if mommy and daddy are not there to protect you, God is always with you and he will protect you.” I replied, “Yeah baby. I remember.” He said, “Well mommy, I wasn’t scared. God was with me and he was protecting me like you said.” I just cried and thanked God for allowing me to be the vessel to carry this beautiful boy.
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His Aim May Never Improve

It’s true. Brennan can’t pee standing up without getting any on the toilet. It’s hilarious. I’m like dude, “I need you to work on your aim”. I know it takes practice and there are even some men who can’t get it in the bowl, so I’m not that hard on him. I just take the Clorox wipes and clean up the mess. Is it the end of the world? Nope. Do I actually sit on a wet seat if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? Yep. You get used to it.

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 He May Never Be All Star

One of the reasons I constantly put Brennan in sports is not because I want an all star athlete. I want a healthy child. I figure with one day of Physical Education a week, he really needs to get active. So, I put him in sports. He’s taken swim, soccer, T-Ball, basketball and Tae Kwan Do. Basketball and T-ball were an adventure. He never got the hang of dribbling the ball. He would pick it up and run around the court hoping the other players would tag him to try to get the ball. He liked tag. Basketball, not so much. His adventure with T-Ball was hilarious. He literally refused to play, practice or do anything other than sit on the bleachers next to me and his dad. When the coach would ask “Who wants to go up and bat?” He would raise his hand and run out with the other children. He would hit the ball and sit back down. Yeah, that was fun. How about soccer? The very first day of practice he begins to dribble the ball down the field and after 10 minutes grabs his soccer ball and walks over to the bleachers where his dad and I are sitting to announce…”Mommy, Daddy? Can we leave now? I’m no good at this?” We stared at him in shock and said, “No, practice hasn’t even started.” By the end of the season though he improved dramatically, it was his attitude changing that impressed me the most. So, soccer, Tae Kwan Do and swimming are it for now. He enjoys those sports.

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Jake from The Neverland Pirates is the Coolest

Yep, he loves Jake. According to Brennan, Jake is his best friend. He’s smart, has friends and has cool hair. Jake always gets the gold da blooms and defeats Captain Hook. Bored yet? I learn so much about cartoons and how my son’s character is developing because of his love for his favorite television show. He was Jake last year for Halloween and I still can’t get the sound of my niece and nephew laughing at his wig that came with the costume. She asked, “Is Brennan wearing a weave?” Nope, it’s a wig. He even made his real best friend Lauren be Princess Sophia for Halloween. When my best friend asked me to take her son trick or treating because she would be out of town and told me that her son wanted to be a pirate, I was concerned that Brennan would be upset. She said, “Don’t worry, his pirate costume is less flashy than Jake’s. He’s more authentic looking.” What? Yep, Jake doesn’t really look like the pirates in the movie. He even has a Jake book bag, lunch box, pajamas, swimsuit, towel and jacket. Not including the toys, books and action figures. Jake will rule your house!

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He Will Get Dirty & Sick

When I was younger, my best friend and I would say that we would grow up, get married and live next door to each other. Our children would grow up to be best friends like us. I would say, “Only mine will be in bubbles because I don’t want them to get sick or dirty.” She teased me for years. When I first had Brennan he had a wardrobe when he was still in my womb. Whites, creams and pale blues were optimal colors. Nothing was to light because he wouldn’t get dirty. I was too naive. The minute he couldn’t digest the formula and we went on a hunt for something that he didn’t hate was a wake up call. Formula stains don’t come out of a white Ralph Lauren romper. And surprisingly neither does a bowel movement from an exploding diaper. I had to realize it and just say I will buy him what I want and be okay if it comes out the wash looking dingy. I exhaled. But, sickness was something I wasn’t prepared for. It broke my heart when my baby boy needed a breathing machine because of all his respiratory infections at 8 months old. What about when he got bronchitis, got diagnosed with seizures and got swine flu? Yep, he was a sickly child and I had to accept the fact that kids (especially those in daycares) will get sick. It’s life. You just comfort and take care of them, use  your sick leave and thank God that you had the good sense to have a job where you have sick leave.


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I think that’s it. It’s hilarious how quickly they grow up and boys teach you so much about yourself. I’m looking forward to learning more lessons being with Brennan in cub scouts, a team mom and an officer in his PTSA. It’s an adventure with many trying times, but I promise you that you will love every moment of it.

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She Said What?

Last week Brennan came home and told me that Aria was upset because Jane made her mad and she said, “Jane has made me so angry.  I want to kill her.”  My heart stopped. What was going on during the aftercare program that he attended at school?  What is going on at home that these kids would know what killing is?  I was hurt.  We’ve tried our best to keep Brennan sheltered from violence because that is not our reality.  We monitor TV programming, activities, books and he doesn’t play video games.  We try to protect the innocence of our six year old for as long as we can.

But, I was mortified at what he had just said and took a deep breath before responding.  I told my love that Aria was wrong and that killing is bad.  I told him that we should never ever speak about taking someone’s life because that doesn’t honor God.  I explained that we honor God in every single house that he visits.  I explained that we are called upon to preach the awesome news that God saves and He is real.  That he sent his son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins and that killing is a sin.  He asked, “Will God be angry if we kill?”  “Yes, love because it is one of His commandments” was my reply. 

Explaining to my innocent little six year old son that killing is bad was horrifying for me.  You see my baby still believes in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny.  So, how could I give him the information necessary to stop the engagement of such dangerous conversations while trying to not recall the horrors of Sandy Hook Elementary School? Because that tragedy is still fresh in my mind.  I still pray for those families and I can’t imagine the void that violence created when they sent their child to school.  But, Sandy Hook isn’t the only tragedy we’ve suffered in our schools.  There’s the shooting in Philadelphiaat a high school, oh and let’s not forget Virginia Tech or Columbine.  The list is endless.  However, it shouldn’t be.

While I want to explain the need for stricter gun control laws, mental illness and the increase in violence in our schools to my six year old, I practice restraint.  I don’t want to overwhelm or scare the little boy who has an imaginary friend and believes that every child he plays with is destined to be his best friend.  A little boy that sees the world and wonders why did Jesus have to die on that cross?  A little boy who by his own teacher’s admission still has a childlike mind that is completely pure.  He hasn’t seen the horrors of this world and I pray that he never will.  But, I am talking to the Director of his after school program about monitoring the kid’s conversation.