A Delightful Creature

9 Oct

“Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood, we find the delightful creature of a boy”

Two recent posts, one by Nicky to say that their scan showed that they are expecting a boy and one by Fiona to her grown son made me wonder about what it means to be a mother to a little boy. Although I was convinced right from the beginning of my pregnancy (if fact, long before that) that I would have a little boy, I was a little apprehensive the day the doctor announced that my instincts were right.

When we announced the news, I received many messages from mothers of sons saying that “boys are the best” and “boys are amazing”, but I must admit that I was not convinced. Remember that I grew up as on only child with no father figure or irritating brothers to rattle me as a little girl. My entire family consisted of girls. I only have girl cousins. The first boy on the horizon only appeared when my cousin Jade had her little boy a few years ago. So the thought of a little boy was a little daunting to say the least.

And then along came Adam. It is very hard to put into words what it means to be a mother to a son. And I am in no way discounting the relationship between a mother and daughter, which I know to be an extremely special bond. But girls know girls. I know what to do with little girls. We play with dolls and have tea parties. We like pretty clothes. We like stories about princes and princesses. Fairies and moonlight. Sugar and spice and all things nice.

I think that the whole magic about having a son is the daily amazement at how “boyish” they are. From the beginning Adam was a real little boy. Noisy. Loud. Boisterous. Little boy things always amused him… throwing things repeatedly to figure out how to make the loudest noise. Pushing things. Standing on things (especially the cat). Running. Banging. Clanging. It is a daily treasure to be able to watch your little boy entertaining himself in ways that would never occur to you. The look of pure delight on his face and the accompanying grunt of achievement when he makes an especially loud noise is priceless.

Adam is full of mischief. Just when you think that you have had enough of running after him and keeping him out of danger, he will climb onto the chair where he knows he is not allowed to be, and turn to look at you with the naughtiest, cheekiest smile. And it doesn’t stop there. He’ll maintain eye contact with you and deliberately start to tap his foot and dance on the chair (while the grin gets wider and cheekier). And hard as you try, you cannot maintain a straight face. He knows just how to push you to your limits and he knows exactly when to turn on the charm to flirt his way back into your good graces. He irritates you beyond belief, but one cheeky grin later and all is forgiven.

And then, at the end of the day, after all the mischief and the antics, after all the tears and the tantrums: You hold them in your arms and cuddle them and you realise that beyond all the noise and the turmoil is a loving, gentle little boy. A little boy who smiles at you through sleepy eyes and snuggles into your shoulder as he closes his eyes.

I think, as a mother, the true gift of boys is that they teach you so much about what it means to be a boy, and in the process, you learn to be a little more forgiving to all the men in your life.

Grown don’t mean nothing to a mother.
A child is a child.
They get bigger, older, but grown?
What’s that suppose to mean?
In my heart it don’t mean a thing.
~Toni Morrison, Beloved, 1987


4 Responses to “A Delightful Creature”

  1. Sue October 10, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    So true, Pia! I read somewhere (can’t remember where) that you can warn little girls of life’s dangers, but boys actually need to experience these things for themslves. No amount of warning can save them. Also having grown up in an all girls household, it’s been quite a treat having a little boy to teach us about why men are the way they are. Jake LOVES being sick. Puts on the most pathetic face he can and tells everyone he comes into contact with how sick he is. When he’s sick, he loves to curl up in bed and be totally manly, asking for biscuits and tea. As a wife, this would’ve driven me insane, as a mother, I adore it. Jake has me wrapped around his finger and I’m sure I’m going to drive my future daughter-in-law dilly…


  2. Sandra Green October 10, 2007 at 8:25 pm #

    When I was pregnant with Caroline, I desperately wanted a boy.
    As a teacher I much preferred boys.
    In those days we didn’t know what we were getting until we got it, and I have to confess to a faint sense of disappointment when I had a girl.
    I’m one of the lucky mums. I’ve had one of each. And I know the best and the worst of them.
    My dad had three daughters and lived in a female dominated household. Sometimes I understood completely why he simply had to go off to the pub before he came home.
    And yet it was Caroline that he adored and understood. He just didn’t know how to relate to boys. Enjoy your ‘little man’ but hope, one day for a daughter.
    You will never have a better friend and confidante.
    I quote: ” A son’s a son til he takes a wife,
    A daughter’s a daughter all her life.”
    But enjoy him.
    Viva la differance!

  3. Sandra Green October 10, 2007 at 8:27 pm #

    By the way, Susie,
    please leave your future daughter-in-law alone.
    Sons and mothers!!
    It’s a whole thesis all on its own!

  4. Wendy October 11, 2007 at 3:34 pm #

    i thought i had commented on this oh well its the baby brain again. or toddler brain.
    you write about adam so beautifully pia. he is so sweet and adorable and he will always be your baby. both my brother and myself are very close to my mum and i see him looking for a cuddle from her to this day. he is def a boys boy. has always been int everything. it was so apparent wheh all the babies were to gether that they are diffrent yet the same.
    i am sure adam will be snuggling with you for many years to come
    hugs wendy

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