We call our son “The Wildman” for a reason. He’s full of energy, laughter and stubbornness. I hear constantly that he’s “all boy,” as if this is normal or something. Now I’m the oldest of 3 girls, and I have a goddaughter and 6 nieces but only one nephew older than our boy. I do also have a godson, but he’s 6 months younger than the Wildman so he doesn’t count in the total for comparison’s sake. As you can see, prior to becoming a mother I had little experience with boys. For the record, I did babysit a few little boys back in high school, some of them on a regular basis even. They were all much younger than the Wildman is now and were still fairly easy to control. Nothing at all prepared me for being a mother of a little boy. At least not a little boy like ours.
I remember when we found we’d be parents to a son, I was a little freaked out. Without getting into too much detail, I’ll just tell you that our road to parenthood was a short, bumpy, wild ride. Wildman is adopted, and while that’s a story for another time just know that it all happened in a matter of about 3 weeks. For the first week we thought we’d be bringing home a little baby girl. Then we found out that we would instead be parents of a little boy. I’m pretty sure my first thought was “I don’t know what to do with a little boy!” And some days, I still have that thought. More than once a day sometimes. Like when he’s so hyper that he can’t sit still for a whole minute or when he comes home from school with a note from the teacher because he couldn’t behave in class. He’s not a bad kid, and he’s not ADD, he’s just full of energy, and he doesn’t know how to contain it sometimes.
He’s to the age now that he doesn’t want hugs and kisses from Mommy all the time, which breaks my heart sometimes. But there are still times when he’s tired and he wants to cuddle or he asks me to lay down with him at night. I absolutely love these moments. It’s at those times when I can still see that precious baby boy we brought home almost 8 years ago, the one who smiled much more than he cried and who’s eyes sparkled and dimples melted your heart.
Earlier this week was one of those nights he asked me to lay with him for a few minutes, and of course I obliged. He always listens to music when he goes to bed, and right now it’s a Brad Paisley CD that serenades him to sleep each night. While I was laying there with him, the song “If he’s anything like me” played. It talks about a dad watching his son grow from a baby to adulthood and all the things he will do if he’s anything like his dad, things like riding bikes, climbing trees, getting in trouble and getting in fights, and how the dad will get his payback for the kid he was growing up. I really “see” my two boys whenever I hear that song. In so many ways, Wildman is so much like his daddy. He’s goofy and athletic and likes to laugh and tease. Those are traits that Kevin displays daily. They are both stubborn and difficult, although I suppose they’d say the same thing about me. I even see Kev in the way he walks and talks.
I hope that he’s learning some things from me too. I hope he’s learning to use his head and give things a little logical thought. I already see that I’ve passed on my love of books and reading, which thrills me to no end. He’s got my love of animals – although I think the animals in the house probably wouldn’t mind if he loved them a little less some days.
Most of all though, I hope he learns how much being his mother means to me, and how much I love him. I hope he knows that now matter how frustrated and annoyed I get with him some days, he’s still my pride and joy. I hope he knows that while I still don’t know what to do with a little boy sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.