last week, between passing snacks back and forth, whispering from story books, praising the latest drawings on the sketch pads and reminders of “close your eyes, fold your arms” and “shhhhh… we’re at church,” the woman behind me reached forward and gently tapped me on the shoulder.
i looked back to her as she spoke softly, yet fervently: “are you having a girl? or ANOTHER boy?”
i get this a lot.
“it’s a boy!” i said as enthusiastically as i could in my best church voice.
everytime i say it i expect a similar response. “oh, wow! you’re going to have your hands full aren’t you?” or, “boys are such a blessing. they are wild when they are little, but at least you don’t have so much drama when they are teenagers.” i’ve heard it all.
i’ve heard it all but what she had to say.
“oh NO. oh NO. oh NOOO.”
ummm… excuse me?
granted, she was sitting behind me at church. watching while we tried to contain two VERY energetic boys for the first of the three hour church block.
immediately i thought back to the last 30 minutes– surely owen or henry had done something crazy to deserve such a response. but no, they had actually been really good that day!
the wheels in my head start turning and my inner dialogue spinning out of control: “oh no!?? why would she say oh no?!? yes, my boys are a little ‘spirited’ at times, but really they are very good boys!” i started in on an imaginary conversation in defense of them: “they have a lot of energy, but they can also be very tender and adoring! yes, they get silly- but no one in the world snuggles better than henry and owen is such a sweet and loving soul. i adore those boys of mine.”
i spent the remainder of the hour (and let’s be honest- most of the next week) going through the conversation in my mind.
since the first moment we knew it was a boy, i had not felt disappointment per se, but a bit of sadness maybe. not knowing if this will be our last child, i mourned a little bit knowing i may never have a mother daughter relationship of my own. my heart always skipped a little as i passed over the adorable hearts and polka dots and moved onto stripes and dinosaurs. and i must admit that i had hoped the presence of a sweet baby girl might switch the dynamic in our house a bit. it might have done us all some good to have a little sweetness enter our home.
but alas, i am outnumbered.
however, those insistent “oh NO!”s from the woman behind me at church that day may have been just what i needed to convince my own heart that my life as a mom of boys is indeed very blessed and beautiful. as i came to their theoretical defense, i found myself finding all the reasons in the world that mothering three boys would certainly be a challenge, but one that would come with great reward and tender moments along the way.
yes, there will be a lot of cars and trucks, a lot of stinky socks, a lot of fart jokes, a lot of trips to the ER.
but they are mine. my heavenly father has sent them to me to care for and protect and turn into men. they have come (and will come shortly) into my home to teach me patience and a number of other virtues that would be out of my reach without their tutelage. and it is an honor to be their mom.
so yes, it’s ANOTHER blessed boy.