Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The lady at the checkout, who I was forced to see because someone decided to paint the bathroom sink with toothpaste, commented on the fact that I had two girls and two boys. She could count just fine, Baby was at soccer practice while I was running errands. "You are so lucky" she said. "More than you know" was my response. I figured that covered Baby's existence while not actually having to get into the math of the whole thing. She continued "There was a lady at church who had seven boys before she got her girl." Apparently the whole not having to try for a girl is what made me lucky. Whoo hoo for me then.

People have such different attitudes towards boys and girls. It's assumed that moms need...girls. Don't get me wrong, I couldn't survive with my two oldest daughters, but I was thoroughly excited to find out that Mac was coming. I find it odd that mothers with sons engender so much pity. Boys indeed are insane, but that in and of itself doesn't require sympathy.

I think all of us approach sons differently than daughters. Even if we don't intend to. I recognized myself doing just that during Mac's soccer practice. There was a little boy that had it out for Mac. He was determined to steal Mac's ball during keep away and would loudly announce his intentions. Mac held his own just fine and so I enjoyed the skeptical. I also didn't mind that there was another boy who is fiercely competitive. When Mac beat him in a race, the boy responded by tackling him. Mac jumped back up and crowed "I won!" I was pleased to see Mac rise to the occasion and to hold his own. And I was surprised by my reaction. Had it been a teammate of Baby or Baba's I would have been seething. But here I was, silently rooting my son on, wanting his fellow teammates to challenge him more and push him harder. He seemed to thrive on the challenge.

I am excited for this upcoming soccer season for Mac. I've seen him become more focused on the physical aspects of the game. He hasn't thrown leaves on his fellow teammates heads, thus distracting them and stealing the ball. He's simply relying on his skills. It's a far cry from the little guy who got into a wrestling match with an opponent at the start of last season. During the game. In the middle of the field. Never saw that at any of my daughters' numerous games. The teenage boy who was reffing the game simply jumped over them as if it was a routine occurrence in boys U-5 soccer.

I like the challenges that boys present. Mostly. But I need to be pulled back from over hovering, as the father figure says. And I can see how it helps my little guys to get pushed by their peers. Although, I'd prefer a less literal approach.

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