Once upon a time, I dreamed I'd have daughters. It's not that I decidedly didn't think I'd have sons, I just didn't picture myself with them. I had a brother and my idea of fun wasn't playing in a mud puddle or frolicking in the weeds until I came home with a raging case of poison oak. I pictured Barbies and tea parties and shopping trips.
Then, God allowed infertility and contested adoption and, at the end of the day, I was so thrilled to have these two healthy boys. And then I had a daughter die and I was especially thankful, again, for my sons. So, one of my biggest pet peeves in ALL THE WORLD is to hear women--and I've heard A LOT--say things like, "I prayed that God would give me my daughters because I have no idea what I ever would have done with boys." Or, "God sure knew what He was doing when He gave me girls." Or, "I NEVER COULD HAVE DEALT WITH BOYS!"
I don't actually understand any of this line of thinking. Raising boys is hard work. But it's not hard work because they think farts are funny and they get dirty and they spill thousands of BBs all over the floor.
It's not hard work because they're loud and sometimes rowdy. It's not even hard work because they like battles and guns and the great outdoors. It's hard because raising someone to be a man is not for the faint of heart.
I must teach my boys how to be responsible leaders while also showing them how to have tender hearts. I must teach them to harness that energy and enthusiasm without crushing their God-given manliness. I have to show them how to honor and respect girls while walking the tightrope of not being unfairly controlled by them.
So sometimes, I wish God would drop a kicking, screaming ball of testosterone into the laps of all the women who shout from the rooftops that RAISING A BOY WOULD BE HER OWN PERSONAL NIGHTMARE. Because then they'd see that we raise what we are given. We love what we are given. We figure out what we're supposed to do with what we're given. Even when what we're given doesn't play with Barbies.
We let them yell.
We let them shoot BB guns.
We learn about wars and spiders and trucks and wrestling because these things matter to our children.
So, please stop telling me that you could never deal with boys. Our amazing God blessed me with them and I wouldn't trade them for anything. When you say that you couldn't have handled boys, it implies that there is something wrong with what He gave those of us who have them. It implies that you somehow received His favor while we got the consolation prize.
My children are not a consolation prize. They are first prize. Blue ribbon. I won. Twice. If you think about feeling sorry for me, think this only because one day they will grow all the way up and leave me. That will be the thing that does me in.
It's not the wars or the spilled BBs or the sheer volume, but the absence of these things that will break my heart. We raise what we are given. And we are blessed.