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In Celebration of the Boy

People told me raising a son would be very different from raising daughters. I had no idea just how different.

“Mom, when aliens invade, the average amount of time the home planet species survives is six months. Do you think, as humans, we’d make it past six months?”

I kept driving, unphased, considering my response. This wasn’t the first time I’d been presented with interesting “facts” from my 10 year old son that required some thought before answering. Over time, I’ve learned from him that, at nine feet in length, the largest fish on the planet is the Arapaima, there is allegedly a gun that shoots around corners and the fastest street legal Audi is a Q8….or something like that.

“I guess you’re assuming those Aliens don’t come in peace. We’d have to consider their weaponry and special powers, don’t you think?” 

My answer begins an in depth discussion of aliens, planet invasion and why this was on his mind in the first place.

The Science Channel, apparently.

When we were fortunate enough to have a son join our family of two daughters, people kept telling me, “Boys are so different!” Aside from the obvious, I thought I was pretty well prepared for him, having grown up with brothers in a military family.

I was so wrong.

“What were you thinking?!” has been uttered more than once as I’ve discovered a perfect two-inch square cut from the window screen with a newly acquired Cub Scout knife or struggled to extract an eraser from a nostril. Discovering the garden hose has been turned into an irrigation line with tiny holes burned into it through magnifying glass and sun experimentation elicited the same question.

Opening the dryer door is similar to selecting Door #2 on the game show, Let’s Make a Deal. I never know what to expect as pocket contents that made it through the wash come to light—favorite rocks, untwisted paper clips, rusty bottle caps and my heart-stopping favorite—the very life-like rubber centipede or scorpion.

The number of ER visits for broken bones and stitches has outpaced his more cautious sisters’.

Just about everything is a gun—even an innocent carrot or stick of celery. 

I’m sure, when he was younger, he thought  his name was,” Jack R U Okay” as that was what I nervously shouted after every loud crash or, ironically, lengthy silence. He learned to mitigate concern following unusual noises by yelling out, “I’m okay!” before I could ask if he was.

Explosions and fast cars direct a large part of our conversations. Asking to save shows for later viewing about a giant prehistoric snake, “Titanaboa” or engineering show “Build it Bigger” serves a stark contrast in the girls’ television taste of “The Office” and “What Not to Wear.”

What I also didn’t anticipate was just how sweet a boy can be. He finds a blanket to cover our old sleeping  cat “in case he gets cold.” He's too young to work me for the car keys and not heading off anywhere that requires money. He hugs for no reason, and says “I love you, Mom." And the very intuitive, “You know, Mom, 40 is the new 27,” just makes my day.

Bring on the aliens, lizards, weaponry and ER visits. I love that boy.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susie Bentz April 09, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Gotta love boys...at one point I wouldn't have recognized mine if he didn't have a bruise or abrasion somewhere on his body! I was a little afraid child protective services was going to show up! Great article!
Valerie Sargent April 09, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Boys! I love them! I have 3 sons and 3 brothers, and would not know what to do with a girl. Love your blog post, so true, so real. Thank you for sharing your life with us!
Mary Stachyra Lopez April 09, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Enjoyed the post—so funny! Boys can be a handful at times but so much fun. By the way, I like the new picture!
sally April 10, 2012 at 01:15 AM
I love love your writings...every one brings a smile to my face!
Julie April 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM
And then they grow up into 6'3" tall men and you miss all that fun! Enjoy! Still fun, just different......
Priscilla Knight April 10, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Wonderful story, Beth! Thanks for sharing. You know my three sons and their many adventures. To sum up, when the folks at Fair Oaks Hospital ER know your sons by name, you know you'll have stories to write some day!
Beth Green-Tweddle April 11, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Thanks, Priscilla--you are definitely in trouble when you have a designated parking space at the ER! I so appreciate everyone's kind words. B G-T

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