Mothering a Son: Blessing or Curse?

I wrote a poem in college called "Eve's Curse" about the beautiful and messy task of falling in love with, raising up, and letting go of a son. To sum it up: we love them and pour our lives into them and then they leave us. That is the curse. Weirdly, I write my best poetry on topics I have no experience with. Maybe I am able to avoid being histrionic and melodramatic because I don't have any ponies in the race. I can view the words abstractly. An omniscient, fly on the wall narrator who contemplates from afar.

I remain proud of the poem, but it reminds me that sometimes I don't know what I don't know.

Sometimes words--despite their power--remain inadequate. Sometimes you cannot know a thing until he's there...attached to me on the outside still covered in womb and clamoring for closeness one minute and the next running headlong in the opposite direction...his superhero cape flapping in the wind my only goodbye. Raising Boyse has made me feel some kinda way. I can testify firsthand that we are sanctified by our children. Just when I thought I had the whole parenting young children gig figured out, Boyse arrived--a true second born and a boy to boot. Stubborn, strong-willed, rowdy. Softhearted and artistic and oh-so-funny. He has exquisite taste in movies and impeccable comedic timing when quoting them randomly.  He is focused and determined whether he is building Legos or breaking the rules.

The truth is I lived in fear of him even before he was born--just the idea of him. The thought that he would steal my heart and then grow gangly and hairy and distant. That he would venture where I have never been and can never go. That he would grow and change and that moreness would diminish our us-ness.

So when the silly string that our friends and family shot at our faces at our gender reveal was blue, I smiled on the outside and crumbled on the inside. Plans to emotionally cripple him so he would never ever fall in love and leave me began to hatch. Not super healthy.

But I just had no idea. Not a single clue.

Yes, there has been pain, and there are things about our future--his and mine--that still terrifies me. I teach middle school, so I feel like my concerns are founded and legitimate. Just saying. He turns five this week, and every single year he has grown. And every single year I have loved him more because of that growth. He gets funnier and more thoughtful. Stronger but still tender. Smarter and closer to Jesus. Closer to me too.

The more he grows the easier it is to picture the man he will be. The man God knit in my womb. Knowing all the tears and missteps we would both take along the way.

As much as I want him to live in my basement forever (I've thought this through, so don't @ me, bro), this cool kid has places to go and people to influence and hearts to help. And I want to be a part of that. I can see that future too. And it's less a curse and more a blessing. To love you and pour out my life for you and then to get to watch you grow and do and be all that you were meant for sounds like a crazy awesome adventure. Happy birthday, Boyse! I can't wait to see how you grow.

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