Being a girl, who was raised with a sister, I never had much experience with the world of boys. Over the past decade, I have gotten a crash course in boydom, as each birth day has offered me another wonderful, rowdy boy to add to my family. Truth is, I was made to be a boy mom. Even before having children, I loved sports, loved roller coasters, and hated pink. I have easily adjusted to the noise, dirt, and bathroom humor that goes hand in hand with raising a little army of young men.
There is one aspect of boy mommyhood that continues to catch me off guard. Boys like adventure. They crave adrenaline. There is something hardwired in them that whispers, "do something dangerous." My dear husband, being a boy in a former life, understands this phenomenon and provides the troops with regular excitement.
This week it was parasailing. Gulp. Understand, I am not a squeamish, overly cautious mom. In fact, those that know me would describe me as fairly blasé when it comes to letting my kids climb high and ride fast. But, even though I am fairly calm about boy- type terrestrial activities, there is just something visceral that overcomes the heart of a momma as she watches her children being strapped into a contraption designed to carry them 600 feet into the air.
My inner voice had an almost irresistible desire to grab the pilot by the shirt, look him straight in the eye and say: "Those are my babies. I made them from scratch, grew them in my body for nine months, and then gave birth to them-painfully. I have poured my life blood into them for their entire existence. I love them with a fierceness that cannot be compared. Do.not.hurt. them." Dramatic, no?
Instead, I smiled and waved and hooted and hollered as they soared off the back of the boat and up into the air. I swear to you it cost me a year of my life to watch them, but it was worth the cost. They had the time of their life and they are begging, begging to do it again.
I know that they are going to keep having these adventures that rip at my insides without my consent. I can't stop them and I wouldn't want to even if I could. This is the new normal for a momma of growing boys. Time after time I will watch them soar away on various adventures, preparing my heart for their greatest, and most heart wrenching adventure to come-leaving home. When they do, they will take the very last piece of my heart with them as they step out into the world as capable, confident young men. And it will be worth the cost.