We have five beautiful, talented, intelligent daughters whom I adore. They are the light of my life. Every one of them is special in their own way.
Mothering girls comes naturally to me. Doing their hair, teaching them modesty, hormones, the whole bit. But now that my long awaited son has joined us I often wonder what it will be like raising a son. I’m not sure it will come as easily. I often hear people saying things like ‘girls are sooo easy, you have no idea what you’re in for!’ or ‘boys are a whole other deal, get ready!’. They often giggle and just shake their heads while their little boys reek havoc, ‘boys will be boys’. Uhhhh, no.
Okay, so I’ve been thinking, does raising a boy truly differ from raising girls? I mean, I want them both to be kind, well mannered, educated, thoughtful, street smart, etc. That shouldn’t change because of the sex of the child. Why have boys gotten this wrap that they are genetically wired to be little gremlins? I can’t accept it. I accept this challenge to raise my son as a ‘mensch’ (a decent fellow). I want to believe that my son can be a gentleman. And I pray he will be. Obviously, with some guidance.
So I’ve come up with some things I want for my son to know as he grows. Things I expect from him, things I pray for him.
So Mateo my love, here it goes:
-Just because you’re a boy does not mean you are allowed to be destructive; you need to respect people’s belongings even if you were born with male genitalia.
-You are 100% allowed to cry, both when you’re a child and also once you’ve grown into a man.
-You will learn to aim into the toilet vs all over the toilet. And if you miss, once you’re big enough, you will learn to clean up after yourself. Our bathroom will not smell like a urinal.
-I expect please’s and thank you’s, bless you’s, and excuse me’s.
-I pray that you are gentle but strong, smart but not a smart ass, giving but not a push over. Balance is key.
-I expect you to respect girls, to treat them like ladies, but never forget how fierce they can be. To always open the door for them, offer to carry something heavy, because chivalry is not dead.
-Furniture is not a jungle gym, couches are not meant to be walked all over. I repeat it daily to your sisters and I will repeat it daily to you if need be.
-I pray that you will help your wife cook like your Papa does.
-I pray that you will be as hardworking as your father is, as both your grandfather’s and all your uncles are. I hope you will always continue to try and achieve your best.
-I pray, when the day comes that I give you away, I will also be gaining another daughter, as your Nona did for me. She will know that I will support her when you’re wrong and love her like my own. I hope she’ll call me Mom and I hope you’ll love each other deeply.
-You will watch out for your sisters even if you are the youngest. No matter how old you get.
For now this is what I’ve come up with, and you and your sis are waking from your nap so I’ll get back to you later with many, many more things I expect from you (I’m gonna drive you nuts).
And never forget how much I love you all.