I grew up among brothers, and then birthed only sons. And while I loved raising boys, it is impossible not to notice that a house full of men is a world unto itself.
Being a mother of sons means that:
You get a glimpse of what the man you made babies with must have looked like before you met him.
You discover that ESPN truly is a 24/7 channel.
You are straightening the house for yourself, and while others in your family may help, they are humoring you.
You may watch your sons engage in violence that sets your teeth on edge. Their dad calls it hockey, football or wrestling. Mothers of sons call it a chance to get hurt.
You mediate and referee fights so vicious that blood may be drawn. And while their bodies may be hurt, their feelings won’t be and they will be back fighting and playing moments later. At first this baffles you.
You will have the opportunity to explain periods to someone who won’t look you in the eye as you speak and doesn’t want to know.
If you want company for a manicure, you will need to find a friend. Ditto shopping.
You do not go shopping on a family vacation unless you go alone.
You will never shop for a prom dress or a bride’s wedding dress and you will discover that a tux takes 20 minutes to rent. Momentarily this will seem like a let down, and then you will realize that you have saved weeks of your life.
You will need a man to give some instruction, at times, on shaving, tying a tie and the importance of respecting women. The first two can be demonstrated in an afternoon, the last needs to be modeled over a lifetime.
At some point one male in your house will put forth the argument that there are more people in the house who want the toilet seat up than want it down. Resist this argument.
You will not need to guess, surmise or analyze what your children are really trying to say. Sons say what they mean.
You never have to share your clothes and no one in your home will confuse your lingerie with anything that belongs to them.
You may meet a girlfriend or a fiancée who later becomes a daughter-in-law. You must not speak one ill word about this woman, because any woman can remember for decades, a single sour word from her mother-in-law. Such is the life of mothers of sons.
You will find that many of your emotions are transmitted in a foreign language and that no one in your house can translate or understand. But because they love you, they will remain polite or, if overwhelmed, retreat.
Friends and family may offer you sympathy, suggesting that life is not really complete without that unique mother-daughter bond. You smile and try not to be rude, knowing that life with sons could not be better.