I've been inducted into the 'mothers of boys club' by three moms this summer. One of those women has been like a mentor to me since college. She is just shy of twenty years in to raising four wonderful boys near my university in Nashville, Tennessee. I came to be apart of their family while babysitting on weekends and when she went back to work part-time. Conversations with her and the experience of playing with all those boys, toddler through upper elementary, stay with me today. I distinctly remember cleaning up sports gear, cars and shoes, organizing them into beautiful gigantic wicker tubs. Their voicemail message listed each family member's name followed by '...land of the men'. They lived in a beautifully decorated home, despite the imagery 'Land of men' depicts.
Once Tripp and I met Hudson, our 3rd of 3 boys, I felt my life and demeanor as a mother shift. To be more honest, I felt it was time to release something I'd been holding on to for a daughter. In raising David and Judah I feel as though I've guarded part of my heart toward them, exhibiting strength and love in a way I felt was best for them, but also for me. In truth, I imagine that when a mother loves a daughter that love is safe and limitless and will remain for life based on their bond as women. They will have shared experiences and intimate vulnerability within the protected realm of womanhood that is present in all life stages. Adolescence, marriage, children. I feel this, in part, because I can visualize it. With my sons, I anticipate that those stages will command more independence from me and our precious bond. In fear, I feel like I will lose them and not know how to love them as men.
I speculate that the daughterless mothers of men/boys I know could speak volumes of wisdom in response to my fears. I will make it a point to engage with them and listen intently, remembering however that I've been uniquely tasked to love David, Judah and Hudson Grant well. So far, loving these guys has been the greatest joy of my life.