“You’ll understand when you have a kid of your own.”
My husband and I have had this discussion so many times. We’d heard this from our parents and so many other adults throughout our childhood and adolescence. Right, sure. I doubt having a kid will make me feel any different, I would think to myself.
And then I became a mom. A boy mom. Even though I’ve raised my husband since the age of 16, I really didn’t know the first thing about how to raise a boy! What do boys like? What do they do besides pee standing up and play in dirt? Now that I’m nine months in, I must say that I love being a boy mom. (The ease of dressing him is probably one of my favorite things.)
As I approach my first Mother’s Day, I’ve been thinking about my role as his mom. I feel this special bond with my little guy. The day I became a mom I gained a new best friend. In an instant, my life changed and I couldn’t imagine ever returning to the life I had before. When the nurse laid him on my chest and I felt his little body on mine, I was hooked. I’ve never been a cuddler, but I could cuddle him all day long. I love spending time with him, especially as he learns to crawl and give high fives. I love having this new best friend.
The cuddling is great, but I also have a super important job as the mom of a sweet boy– I have a hand in helping him become a man. There are so many things I want my son to know; the kind of man I hope that he becomes. I have the privilege of helping him get there.
Each day I pray that he follows fiercely after God. Michael prays with our son each morning before he brings him in to the babysitter. Each night we pray together at dinner, thanking God for our day and our meal. Before bed, another prayer for our day ahead. I add in extra prayers as my little guy sleeps– praying for his journey, his future career, his future spouse, and more. With the guidance and support of our families and loved ones, I hope that he becomes a man of God.
I want him to know our family values. My husband and I have always come at all things as a team. Our newest team member needs to know and practice our same family values. We stick together, supporting each other.
I hope that he becomes a strong defender of others. That he will come to the aid of someone in need– stand up for someone being bullied or lend a helping hand when he sees someone struggling. I want him to be a supporter of women– an ally. But I don’t want him to think he can’t still open doors or carry things for women.
I want him to be courageous and bold in all aspects of his life. I hope to teach him to take risks and make bold decisions. I want him to be adventurous. Daring. Strong. Dare I even say challenging. No, I don’t want to butt heads with him at every turn (though I’m sure this will happen at some point), but I do want him to become his own person who doesn’t follow the crowd, but instead someone who steps up as a leader.
One day he’ll be a teenager who could very well be challenging and hard headed. I may have to say the words, “You’ll understand when you have a kid of your own.” He’ll shrug me off and not understand what I mean.
For now, I will continue to guide him. I will continue to shower him with kisses and “I love yous”. I will act as a model– showing him how to stand up for others, what it means to be a team, and the characteristics needed to be a leader. I hope that my husband and I can model a healthy, loving relationship and communication skills.
It never ends, really. The list of hopes and dreams for him. The amount of love that overflows from my heart for him.
Most of all, if I accomplish anything as a mom, I hope that he is happy and knows that he is loved.