New Mama Musings

Friday, August 25, 2006

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

I feel the need to clarify something, lest I give Future Henry a complex: we are very, very, very glad he is a boy.

It's true that when I first became pregnant, we were leaning more toward wanting a girl. I'm not sure why, exactly. Something about my husband already having two boys and his only daughter being cognitively disabled (not that she's any less of a girl because of it, but she may not do some of the things a "normal" girl might do). And for me, more specifically, there was something about wanting to pass on my "womanly wisdom."

Now I see how silly this was. I've always rankled at the notion of sisterhood some women embrace, the "us against them" mentality that says women must stick together simply because they share a gender.

But any wisdom I've acquired during my 35 years of life is not applicable to females alone. Sure, that's my perspective, but I can teach a son about vulnerability, empowerment, sensitivity, self-respect, and consideration of others. We need smart, funny, giving, strong, loving men in this world, just as we do women.

I was reminded of this the other day as I sat in the bean bag chair in our play area and Henry asked to nurse by tugging on my shirt. I pulled him onto my lap and while he nursed I stroked his hair and smoothed my hand over his sweet little body. His eyes rolled back in his head with contentment, and I thought, "I hope he carries this feeling of comfort and security around with him the rest of his life." Boys need to be nurtured, too, and in return they give us just as much joy and love.

So here's to raising little boys -- snips, snails, puppy dog tails and all.


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