I sat in a college stadium today. It was a wonderful bit of normalcy amidst the chaos. Jon’s alma mater. Our home away from home. I ate a hotdog which I’m sure is against some pregnancy rule and I walked literally over a mile, but man my soul could have burst. It felt so good to be in such a familiar place full of so many memories.
Naturally, amidst social distancing guidelines, we were pretty spaced out from others around us, and the crowd was down significantly, but that didn’t stop me from noticing the sweet little boy sitting below us. He may have been 8 or 9, and I never saw his face, but I saw so much of Jack and Wade in his little frame. His excitement to be at the game with his dad was apparent and he didn’t sit down the whole time. He made several trips to the concession stand and yelled on cue whenever the Vols made a good play (which was rare). I laughed at his sweet demeanor and yet ached a little bit too. Sitting close to him, was a group of college-aged guys laughing and having a beer with their friends. They were still young, obviously, but old enough to be facing big things in life: majors, jobs, girlfriends, scholarships, fraternity life, you name it. Sitting side by side, it was if my future was flashing before my eyes.
In that moment, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride to be the mom of boys. “What a privilege” I thought, “To love something so wild and yet so sweet”.
Everyone has asked me how I feel about carrying a third boy, to which I always reply “I’m excited!”. And I am. Our sweet boy was not a failed attempt at a girl, though that would’ve been neat too. He was an unexpected miracle all of his own. I’ve also been asked, several times now, if we are going to try again for a girl, and again, my rehearsed response is “No. We are done.” And we are. Lord willing.
So I am satisfied with being a mom to three boys and only boys? Yes. I am. I couldn’t imagine any other life.
Since coming off of social media, I have seen such a difference in what I notice, and how I view motherhood. I really don’t notice or don’t care who is shaming who about what. I don’t worry whether I am doing all of the things right or wrong, I just show up and do my best for my babies each day. Some days that means painting pumpkins and learning life-skills, other days that means Happy Meals and me laying in the playroom floor scrolling Amazon because the third baby has sucked the life plum out of me. There are days I yell from 7 am until 8 PM and there are days so full of laughter and kisses my heart may just burst. I’ve chased Wade down the field after he snuck out of the house, I’ve pulled lacing beads out of Jack’s mouth, and both of them told me yesterday after I got home from being away all day “I missed you!”. They’re my best friends, and I know that may not always be the case, but I sure hope they always love me just as fiercely. I pray they always will.
Little boys-especially two at once- teach you a lot of life lessons:
- Giving them over to God isn’t an option, it’s survival. There is no way to protect them both at all times. Run towards the one in more danger, and trust God has the other one.
- They will only touch an electric fence once. Warn them of the danger, do your best to protect, then let natural consequences take over.
- Running through a wet field, barefoot, at 8 am is sheer glee and absolute grace. Laugh while you chase the child, who snuck out, then threaten to beat the very life after him later. Make him think you mean it, but also give him hope that you don’t. Secretly hope he always runs through fields with such carefree laughter.
- Broken bones aren’t the worst that can happen. They haven’t happened yet, but I’ve made peace with it in my mind, because I know they are going to happen.
- Be proud that the children can open all locks and doors and figure out how to get out of every possible safe situation. With this, they will also have knowledge to get out of every possible unsafe situation. Also they will potentially know how to break out of prison, which isn’t necessarily something to be proud of but makes for a great movie plot someday and you can possible collect the royalties. Bright side people.
- Sing to them. Let them color. They need art. They need culture. They need to be forced to like artsy things because the fraternity house isn’t going to teach them anything but how to get cheap beer and to belch the loudest.
- Stay calm in fits, whining, and crisis negotiations. Refuse to negotiate with terrorist like behavior. You have the trump card here. You always win.
- When a little boy brings you a book, read to him. Every single time. It may be the only moment you get to hold him close in a 24 hour period, and he needs it as much as your soul does.
- Build confidence any way you can. Aside from knowing and loving Jesus, my only goal for my children is to believe in themselves as much as their daddy believes in himself. Confident boys-in any job-in any field-go far in life.
I can only imagine what wisdom and delight Baby Boy #3 will bring. Oh! And he has a name now: Banks. Banks Campbell Harrison. Here’s to wilder, lovelier days ahead.
PS-If you are new to the blog, welcome! I’m so glad you are here! Please know since I am off social media for a year, I will not be sharing these posts to Facebook, but you sure can! Just copy the link and share away.