Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Parenting Boys...

Almost ten years ago (eek!!) I received the news that I was pregnant with a baby boy. My reaction was pure excitement. Some of my friends didn't feel the same way. I heard over and over, "I wouldn't know what to DO with a boy!" I have never understood that. After all, I got to watch as Jay learned how to make really good car sounds at just a year old. I was there the day that he rolled around on the floor, thrilled over his new set of match box cars and shouting, "Caaaars! Caaaars! Caaaars!" over and over. I delighted in him knowing what EVERY single piece of construction equipment was. And he taught ME a good lesson on construction equipment as well.

It was cool to see the kind of stuff that was inborn in him and set him apart from girls from the get go. His love of sleeping in his rubber rain boots because they were his "Buzz Lightyear boots", his ability to spot the make of any 18 wheeler out there and call it out to me while we were on the road, and the boy noises...ahhhhh...the boy noises. Siren noises, motorcycles, 18 wheelers, boats...they all have a different sound. I never noticed that until I had a boy to point it out to me. All of these things that Jay picked up on were as inborn in him as Annie's love of painted nails and "pretty" things.

But remember that mother who said "Just because your friends decided to jump off a bridge doesn't mean you have to too."? Yeah. I would just about guarantee you that she didn't have a girl. Nope. She was the mother of a boy. Promise. And I know this because of what happened in the cafeteria the other day.

I was out shopping for Jay's ninth birthday present. I had just bought it when my cell phone rang. As I answer, I hear Jay's principal on the other line. She says, "Malinda, Jay is fine." Now, this? This is not a good way to start a conversation. I am already running through my List of Doom. Among these is 1. Head Trauma and 2. Broken Limb. She follows her statement up with the news that Jay and his friends were playing a breath holding game in the cafeteria today. They wanted to see who could hold their breath the longest. Jay won. Of course, winning THIS particular contest means that you hold your breath so long that you pass smooth out onto the cafeteria floor. Thankfully, one of the teachers spotted the game and knew what was happening. She arrived just as Jay passed out, thus saving him from number one on my List of Doom. Thank goodness for our teachers and their powers of observation.

But poor Jay was hysterical. I tried to talk to him on the phone but couldn't understand anything he was saying through the heaving sobs. So, I headed to the school to pick him up and bring him home. I figured this would be a good opportunity to discuss several TOPICS that mothers need to discuss with third graders without the eyes and ears of younger siblings.

So I brought him home. He was still VERY VERY quiet. I asked him if he was still scared by the passing out and he told me that he was. So then I asked him exactly WHAT he was scared of. "I'm worried that I did PERMANENT DAMAGE to my BRAIN!!!" he wails. I reassured him that he was FINE and that God made us with a stupid switch in circumstances like these so that we would pass out, therefore turning OFF the stupid switch and start breathing again. "Your brain is FINE," I told him. "However, I'm not sure how well it was working BEFORE you played that game." Then, he looks down at his ankle. His eyes get VERY big and he says, "Mom. My ankle. It's BLEEDING." I looked at it and said, "It's just a scratch. Go wipe it with a paper towel." He looked at me, with fear filled eyes, "But Mom! What if I burst a blood vessel with I passed out? Could this be serious?" It is at this moment that he swiped a finger across the blood on his ankle. And smelled it. "Oh. Never mind. This is just gravy from the cafeteria."


1 comment:

  1. Malinda, I could never have appreciated this until I had a 10-year-old nephew. And now so many things about boys make sense. Also so many things about internal combustion motors.