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1.24.2011

Mommy's Little Boy

***Edited to add:  These are GREAT!!  Thanks for sharing with me, please keep it up :) I love reading all of your thoughts and your wisdom.  It's fun to see so many of these things repeated and I now know some toys that I need to stock up on!***

So on this Monday afternoon, I've been thinking.
About lots of things, but mostly my kids. 
Specifically, Carter.
There is something sweet and unknown and challenging and wonderful about having a son.
I thought the same thing about having a daughter but it wasn't quite so daunting to me, because I am also a girl.  I was raised with girls.  I "know"the world of girls :)
 But, to be the Mom of a darling daughter and now a precious son...Sometimes the wonder of it all stops me in my tracks. 
For the last few days, I've just been contemplating the grace shown to me in the gift of Carter.   Not that I don't feel that same grace in the gift of my daughter, but because I am not a man and now I've been chosen to raise one, I suppose it is a little different.  I suppose I feel a little like Travis must have felt when Ava was born.  An overwhelming sense of, "now what?" 
 In many ways, my kids are alike.  Babies are babies, no matter what their gender and yet, there are already differences that are beginning to surface.  Thankfully I have a husband, a Dad, brother-in-laws and of course, The Lord, to draw upon.  But none of them are ever going to be what I am. 
Carter's Mom.
Yep, there are differences.
Differences that I am embracing and lessons that I am learning. 
This morning, I watched Ava skip around the house in her red tutu, singing and dancing and picking up her babies every so often to hug and kiss and feed.  As I smiled watching her, I thought to myself, "I get her."  I did the same thing as a little girl and honestly, if I had a red tutu myself, I just might consider giggling and dancing around the house today too :)
But then I looked at Carter, dressed in his blue and brown, and wondered....
"What are you going to be into little guy?" 
I know you'll sing and you'll dance and you'll run around the house, but I doubt you'll be in a red tutu!
I know you'll like some of your sister's toys and inevitably will be subjected to more pink than you might like, but what will you spend your free time doing?  Will you crash trucks into each other, take things apart, make lots of noises and climb like a monkey with no regard for safety?
Or will you love to draw or read or build things?  
Maybe? Or maybe not. 
I do know that God designed you and created you and crafted you to be someone special.  Someone unique.  Someone with purpose. 
YOU! 

As I've thought about being Carter's Mom and what that's going to look like, I think God has really impressed upon my heart a desire to know each of my children and a longing for the wisdom to help them become who God created them to be.  Not who I think they should be or what the world prefers, but who they are.  Who Carter wants to be.  I will admit, there is immense pressure when I think about the ramifications of my mothering.  Someday, Carter will hopefully be someone's husband, father, co-worker, friend, etc.  How I've modeled motherhood and feminitity will play a big role in how he responds and reacts to the women in his life.  That's daunting. 
But it's also a long way from today.  And today, I'm learing to take all of this one stage at a time.  To trust God in the details and to rely upon Him for the big stuff.  For the unknowns. 

I love having a son!
I love the invasion of blue in my world and the loud grunting noises that are often coming from my son's mouth.  I love the way his face resembles his Daddy's and the way he bats those big blue eyes at me.  I love that he lights up when I smile at him and that it only takes seconds for him to relax in my arms.
I love being Carter's Mom. 
(And so that there is no confusion, I also love being Ava's Mom!)  

Now, I'd love to hear from you today about raising a son! I had a zillion baby showers for Ava and got lots of those notecards with "advice" about having a baby or raising a daughter.  I love those things!  But Carter came quickly thereafter and I didn't need any more showers, so I missed out on those for him. So today I'm wondering, would you help me?  Will you give me  your best advice, some observations you've made, things you wish you'd done differently or tips you've picked up along the way?  Funny, serious, long or short, I'd love to hear it.  If you're a lurker, will you de-lurk just for today?  :) I'm enabling anonymous comments on this post to make it easy for you...

Thanks for chiming in, I know I'm going to love reading these! 

16 comments:

Lindsey said...

I want to come back and read!! I am at the same point you are. All of my friends are having girls. The last children I baby-sat were girls. I love playing catch, riding bikes, digging in mud for worms. I feel overwhelmed when I think about how his manners will be.. treating teachers, other parents, future dates, the public in general. Oye! So far I think Connor is going to be a physical one.. he is so strong and loves to show it, tearing things apart, pulling up, bouncing in my arms. Luckily I like to be active!

Great post :) I know we all fear the future and unknown of our children. Now, where's that crystal ball?!?

Jill said...

Hi Stephanie!

I'm a "lurker", although I do follow you on Twitter. :) I love your Godly perspective on things and really admire you. I'm sure if we lived closer, we would be friends. I have one child, a son, who is 3 years old--actually, he shares a birthday with your dear Ava. I don't have any advice yet on raising boys, as I am "in the trenches" of figuring this out. I do know it is the greatest joy of my life to be a mother and I have had a great education of the past few years concerning super heroes, Matchbox cars, trains, etc. I'm looking forward to reading any advice that you may get from others.

Charlie and Manda said...

So a friend in my life, mom of two boys, made an impression on me- She tries not to publicly "shame" her son. If he needs reproof- he gets, for sure- but she really tries to take him to a different room, away from people to take care of the talk, etc. She wants to respect his manhood- even at a young age. I really like the idea of showing respect to my son. -but carefully balance that with him knowing I'm in charge. I hope to try this out myself.

Mom2One said...

Awww..this post made me smile. I often wondered while I was pregnant with my son, if he would "like" me because (obviously) I'm a "girl". I honestly secretly and sometimes openly worried about it. What I know today though is that he does in fact adore me and I pray that he always will. There is something SO special about mothering a son. I can't teach my son how to be a "man", or how to do manly things, but I can instill in him characteristics that will one day help him know how to treat a girl. My advice to you would be to be understanding of his crazy whims to climb everything, be protective understandably, but let him explore still. Definitely do NOT be afraid to get down in the floor and play with cars and balls EVERY day. You will most likely be watching a LOT of movies about trucks and puppy dogs. Enjoy every minute. It's hard to be "present" in each moment, but cherish time with your son as you do your daughter. I have fear now that if I have a daughter I just won't know how to act. I'm so accustomed to playing with "boy" things. Ha! I love your blog, and I follow and read often.

Meg A. said...

I am a lurker but a longtime reader. I always look forward to your posts and read with great veracity! I really treasure your perspective on life and especially faith.

I have a similar experience- only a sister and even all girl cousins. No boys in our entire family. And then I was blessed with 1, two short years ago. I'm still learning the ropes but I can tell you that (and I know it's incredibly cliche) I've been SHOCKED by how busy he is! My goodness, from the minute his eyes open in the morning until the minute his head hits his pillow at night, he is on the go! I've never experienced anything quite like it. Busy, busy, busy with a big dose of fearlessness...I won't scare you with stories of the stunts he's tried...let's just say my prayer life has grown exponentially! :)

Peggy & Ron said...

Wow! Lots to read already. My advice is a healthy dose of fear, yep.

Jesse said...

Steph,

With all sincerity, I give you this nugget of advice for raising your son...

...when fights break out, the older, domineering sister is almost ALWAYS at fault! :)

Megan said...

I have to say I'm amazed at how tough Wyatt can be. He's constantly on the move and climbing and into everything, so inevitably he will bump his head or fall down. There I many times I think to myself,"Ouch! That has to hurt!" and then he just gets up and keeps on playing. I suppose since he is so busy all the time, I really cherish the few moments when he stops and wants to cuddle with Mommy. I am happy that he has a good relationship with his Daddy, and they can do "guy stuff" already. Wyatt already has a fascination with power tools and building things. :)

Boys are lots of fun! Get ready for running, wrestling, yelling, climbing, etc. :)

Donna said...

I have two adult sons and a daughter, 2 gransons and 2 grandaughters...and I can tell you there is a world of difference between sexes! My boys and grandsons were so noisey and wild, and the girls play so well for extended lengths of time! My boys used to tell the babysitter and me..."I'm going to marry my mommy when I grow up"...(be still my heart!) but sure forgot that when they met their future wives and ...life goes on! Sweet! Enjoy!
PS...Great pics!!!!

Lindsay said...

I have 3 small boys and the one thing I have learned is that they are just plain dirty! If they can play and get messy then they are happy boys! As a borderline clean freak I have had to learn to let go and know that I am speaking their love language when I let them roll around in the mud :-)

Amber said...

Steph -
I was eager to read all of the advice, as the daunting task of raising a son is knocking at my door now too!
Love that we get to share these times ... just wish we were closer! :)
Amb

Toni :O) said...

Boys are a blast! I have a twelve year old son and a seven year old daughter...what a blessing they both are. She loves dolls and Barbies and tu-tu's but he is SO into cars, cars, cars and fencing too! Anything to do with cars though, he's all over it! We have about 700 Hot Wheels in our home and he is thrilled to get a new one every.single.time! He loves drawing cars, playing video games and running with our dog all over the yard. He makes me laugh every single day..he has the best sense of humor of anyone I know. He's getting to that age where puberty will be setting in and it does scare me, I have such a close relationship with him that I don't ever want to lose that nor I woudl die inside if he ever *hated* me as sometimes they do as teenagers. However, I pray that God guides us as his parents and him as a growing boy that we teach and guide him to stay on course. He has chores (I just KNOW his future wife will thank me someday that he knows how to do dishes, take care of trash and does laundry!), helps cook meals, feed the dog, etc. One thing we do make time for a couple times of month is just to have mom/son time. Sure I have my girly time with my daughter but time away from her with just him is very precious and I highly recommend it. Even walks with my dog and him are special because I learn things about him I never knew and he asks questions that probably wouldn't get asked and answered. That's probably my biggest suggestion for you...make time with just you and your son, it truly can be one of the most amazing gifts! Enjoy raising your son, it's challenging yet so rewarding on so many levels. Many continued blessings to you all, your blog is always one of my favorites! :O)

Toni :O) said...

Oh, and teach him to make his bed and keep his room clean...I get more compliments on that than I ever thought I would get! He was also more of a challenge to potty train, that I DO remember quite vividly but every kid trains differently. I've also learned he has certain issues with clothing...like he will not wear jeans as they are not comfortable (this only since he's gotten older) and I have to only buy Hanna Andersson undies for him as he is very particular on *fit*. We also learned in fourth grade that he was having much trouble with math. We placed him in Kumon twice a week and it's made all the difference in the world and we are two years into it! I highly recommend that program for any reading/math issues that us as parents may not be able to help with when it comes to learning. I'm a teacher but in a much different way! Just some other tidbits I've been learning as I go along this road that I just remembered and wanted to share with you.

Kaycee said...

So far I am raising just one girl, but I grew up the only girl with two older brothers - and I am a high school teacher so that gives an interesting perspective on the grown-up boy. :) What I would say is something I don't think I need to even say for you, but I would encourage you to raise him to treat and speak of/to women respectfully. I know Travis will be modeling this for him too. But it's amazing the things I hear in the hallways and classrooms that I have to address and the things that boys can think are okay to say toward girls. It was quite a surprise to me as that is not how my brothers were raised, I expected some but not the level and amount I hear. And I don't often hear it in the reverse (girls toward boys) nor do the girls generally correct them (but that's a whole other topic). But like I said, probably not something I would even need to say to you. From reading your blog I can't imagine you raising a child that is disrespectful to anyone. :)

SM Anderson said...

You may find in the near future to never wear white. You will never be clean just like your son. Boys are busy...very busy. My boys have very short attention spans so we go from activity to activity and leave a big mess in the process. I agree with the rest that boys like to be loud. They love cars and trucks and sand and mud and dirt and water. They need to get dirty to learn. They are messy eaters. They climb everything. You will be outside all the time. He will play with a 'gun' before you even have a toy one in your house. They LOVE to build. Give my boys 2 hammers, nails and wood and they are happy for an amazingly extended period of time.

I was not sure at first how I was going to answer this question because with 2 boys that is all I know. I look forward to reading more posts. It is very important to me that my boys have manners and grow up to be polite. I want them to open doors for people and help when they see someone in trouble. Not sure how I am going to make this happen but I know for sure that my hubby is working on leading by example.

Most importantly, if they make pinata don't allow them to fill them with suckers :-) Yours doors will not be happy.

I am by no means an expert but am here whenever you need to bounce ideas off of someone.

Okay. Just re-read my post and I see I gave no adive just observations. Sorry!

MomMom said...

Stephanie, I am the mother of two grown sons--no daughters. God blessed us with girls when our first three grandchildren were born. Then we had a grandson and now another granddaughter. I would not trade one minute of being the mother to sons. There is a special bond between a mother and her sons. Even though they are now grown and have a family of their own, we still share a closeness that I am so thankful for. I love their wives and I'm sure you are already praying for the girl Carter will marry. Both of my daughters-in-law are answers to prayers--I love them dearly. SO, enjoy every minute with both of your children. I know you realize they are truly a gift from God.