Boys are different from girls, or if you prefer, girls are different from boys. If anyone disagrees, then you need to birth yourself a matching set. Or better yet, a couple of sets. In fact, you could take Wife’s approach, and birth four sets with an extra, just for good measure. Maybe then you’ll agree.
After four girls, Wife became very good at raising little girls. Now, she is in the middle of raising big girls and little boys. The girls make sense to her. The way they mingle, the calm and collected way they play. Their growth is expected. She understands their moods. How they can snap from happy to sad, and slowly regain their lost happiness, usually after a little mommy-time.
The boys are a different animal. They roughhouse. They play loud. They hit each other and laugh at it.
I think it took Wife two or three boys to get used to the idea, they considered roughhousing a fun pastime. Wrestling on the floor, elbows and legs spinning about, all fun, up until the point when a nose made contact. It drove Wife crazy that they just couldn’t see it coming, or that they had fun hurting each other. She’s finally coming around that it is simply something boys do. Now, she feels the need to referee.
The boys also have a different energy level than the girls… way different. They not only run off a higher voltage, but also run on a new kind of battery. Instead of slowing down when the batteries get low, they maintain the same energy until they are completely drained. They would run in circles (literally), and then fall asleep at the dinner table.
And speaking of the dinner table, Wife declares that none of her girls were as picky about food as the boys have been. For some reason, they think they are experts on whether a meal is eatable or not. And if it falls in the “not” category, well then they whine, cry, moan, reason, plead, hide, lie, and suffer throughout the entire meal. I admit, I do not remember that the girls were that stubborn with meals. They were more reasonable than the boys. That is to say, they could be reasoned with. The boys have been like mules who had decided they would not take another step. They plant their feet, and Wife and I pull and yank on the lead line, and end up nearly dragging them up the trail. As I am gone during most of the day, the majority of the pulling and yanking falls on Wife.
I have come home some days to find Wife in a murderous mood. That is usually when I hear the phrase, “Your sons!” somewhere in her greeting. I could offer her Abraham Lincoln’s line, “Boys will be boys,” but I know better… now. Instead I go to work disciplining whoever needs it, and encourage Wife. “They’ll grow up,” I offer. “With your help, someday they’ll grow into good men.”
Then I silently pray, Please let them grow up some day!