I live in a house of boys. Four boys. And a male dog to boot. Poop jokes and pee-decorated potties are my life. My refrigerator is always open, my first aid box is always out, my grocery bill is constantly increasing. And I can’t help but feel that, with three energetic little superheroes to chase and an awesome runner of a hubby to keep up with, I am physically moving from son up until son down.
When we lived in Washington, I once watched the four girls of our very dear family friends. For the first hour in my house, they didn’t move. They sat. They played a game. They actually FINISHED the game. Then, donned in their non-stained shirts and their actually brushed hair, they just chatted and talked while coloring pictures. In one place. Without moving. For HOURS.
Having never seen such stillness from little people, I called my dear friend to ask if her children were okay. Surely she’d dosed them with Benadryl before she’d dropped them at our home. Her reply: “Oh yes, that’s totally normal. They’ll probably happily sit there coloring until I return.”
And then I sabotaged her quiet and relaxing life by feeding her booty-sitting, inside voice-using, completely content crew of angels all sugar. And not the organic kind.
“Still” is not a comprehendible word in our house. I know nothing about still legs, walking feet, long conversations or brushed hair. As a #boymom (a term my trendy friends on social media recently introduced to me – I still thought the # was called a pound sign), I don’t sit. I chase. I leap. I trip on tiny Legos splattered in the far corners of our kitchen. But sitting is something reserved for the sleeping hours, and responses longer than “yes,” “no,” or “When can we eat again?” are for phone conversations with my mama (who I, three superheroes later, now publicly admit was always right).
It’s a life I never knew and a world I could have never imagined. Although I happily admit that not every boy is like our boys (my little brother was as quiet, still and easily entertained with K’Nex for hours as the little girls whose mom I envy — why is why, perhaps, boy life shocked me), I do frequently recognize that boymom stare.
The one across the counter in the grocery store from the mama whose son just toppled the gum rack while leaping from the grocery cart in his homemade cape.
The desperate gaze from the woman in the coffee line who has exchanged the last quarters from the dark corners of her minivan for sanity in a Starbucks cup that will hopefully allow her to function until dinner time.
The defeat in the eyes of the mama in the PX checkout line who said she’d never leash her kids … and has traded her morals for a monkey backpack with the tail “bracelet” for her dashing toddler. (Oh wait, that was me …)
Though all our boys are different, and ALL children can present any of these challenges, I do find camaraderie with other boymoms who somehow understand that, when I show up with bags, and not the kind with name brand labels, they should be happy I’m physically standing after 5 p.m. at all. That I replace my boots once a year not because they’re not fashionable, but because, after bending down and chasing little boys for 12 months, both the toes AND the heels are no longer functional (or sometimes even still adhered). That my knees are bruised from light saber fighting, my nail polish is chipped from Lego constructing, my calves are aching from trampoline jumping and my heart couldn’t be more full.
I may not get much time to stop and smell the roses (roses in this home are trampled by Nerf gun wielders long before they fully bloom), and I may rarely (if ever) sit down. But with three energetic superheroes to keep me on my figurative and literal toes, I’ll also never run low on laughter, joy or magical emergency room stories.
I’ll sit down when they turn 18.