This is a cautionary tale for girly girls told by a girly girl. Growing up in glamorous Dallas catered to my girly girl lifestyle. I never played sports, never went camping, rarely broke a nail or a sweat. Pink tutus and ballet, shopping at Neiman Marcus, finishing schools, southern feminine charm — I was all girl and a Texas girl at that. I never really understood men. Given my background, how could I? I didn’t have brothers and my Dad worked long hours.
Then, I met and married a tough talking Texas guy (a manly man) and we begat two boys. And I became a “boymom;" a mom with boys.
Out went my Texas girly girl world, and in came another. Contrary to popular myth, raising boys is plenty difficult.
Here are a few things you can expect as a mother of boys:
1. Sword-fighting and weaponizing of pretty much anything
2. Monster truck racing
3. Potty talk and rating any bodily expulsion of gas on a scale of 1 to 10
4. Throw downs and wrestling anywhere anytime
5. Blank stares of bewilderment
6. Bugs, snakes, and assorted creepy, crawly things
7. Space forts made of your finest linens
8. Spaghetti eating without utensils (forks are an option but by no means a necessity)
9. Daily eating and drinking of random gross stuff
10. Unexpected bonfires and explosions
My boys have scared the hell out of me at times. They live and breathe the motto: “if it’s not dangerous, why do it?” When my youngest son was X years old, a toy sword accidentally penetrated his eyeball during a legendary battle with his big brother. After driving 80 mph to the ER room, I was relieved to learn that the puncture had missed his cornea…by a fraction of a hair. For months, I made them both wear safety goggles.
Witnessing my eldest son during his first wrestling meet as a High School freshman nearly caused me
Such things don’t sit well with girly girls. If I had my way, my boys would wear helmets for all time and
protective clothing even while sleeping.
After hearing that Texas-born Hillary Duff just gave birth to a boy – that Vanessa Lachey wants a boy – I wonder how these two girly girls will adjust to this new world. It will be scary, so steel yourself, Hilary and Vanessa. The reckless, mischievous antics of boys are not for the faint of heart.
But it will also be the most exciting adventure of your lives.
You see, being forced out of my girly girl world was by far the best thing that could have happened to me.
Raising unruly, adventurous, (occasionally) hellion boys, I began to see them at their most visceral, in their purest form. It helped me understand my husband, because I realized that in a way, he is still at heart just a boy.
Here’s the thing about boys: you need to understand that they are all wanna-be-heroes. They long to save the day. They day-dream about fighting the bad guy and rescuing the girl. They are proud of their bloody badges of honor: from skateboarding scrapes to black eyes and any kind of war wound. That’s the world of boys. When they put a Spiderman costume on, they become Spiderman. And you need to play along with them. I’ve spent endless hours learning how to fight bad guys, orcs, and zombies with light sabers, torches, and mace made from rolls of duct tape (for new boymoms – a mace is a heavy club with a metal head and spikes). You can n ever watch Lord of the Rings, Return of the King too many times (it’s impossible).
Yes, my boys can be dangerous, destructive, messy, exasperating, and smelly — but the good news is that they are only that way some of the time. The rest of the time they are superheroes in the making; respectful and honest do-gooders, defenders of the universe, and best of all always loving. The kind of boys that will grow up to be good men. Of all the jobs in the world, being a boymom might be the most challenging and the most fulfilling.
My boymom world may not be glamorous, but it’s rich and full of love, awe and wonder. All the things that used to be important to me seem a lifetime ago. I went from being a Prissy Princess to Princess Leia. This girly girl is living the dream – a life in a house full of boys.
About Amy Williams
Amy Williams, Mother of Jack and Joe is Chief Executive Boymom at BoyMom Designs, the clothing and accessories brand that celebrates moms of boys.