I knew Kyle was a boy.
It's easy to say that with confidence now, of course, since he is indeed a boy but, still, I knew. My (literal) dreams were of raising a boy.
I would have loved a girl. I need to say that for the girl that could have been. I would have taken great pride in raising her. It would have humbled me, sure, but I would have loved it. I have two nieces, one very close to Kyle's age, and I just want to scoop her up whenever I get to see her. Oh, Ella. I love her to pieces. She's adorable, she lets me brush her hair, she sits still for ages, and I get to buy her shoes forever.
Still. I knew I would have a boy. Kyle. My boy.
His little feet began smelling like something died on top of them around 18 months. He began creating guns out of NOTHING, out of thin air, out of the bubbles in the bathtub, at around age three. I couldn't believe he could do that, that his imagination could go to PSHAW PSHAW when I had just handed him a hairbrush or a popsicle or a spoon, my goodness, BIOLOGY YOU ARE WEIRD.
He is usually covered in bruises. He falls, he runs into things, he plays tough, and sometimes I have no earthly idea how he gets a bruise here or there. I look at him at the end of the day and think, I really hope CPS doesn't just randomly show up to count the number or bruises on a four-year-old's legs. Because ooooh my you have quite a lot.
Then there are the Legos. Oh hell, the number of Legos in my house is insane. In fact, here's a new baby shower game for you -- you can use this one free of charge -- blindfold the mom-to-be, toss a hundred tiny Legos on the floor, make her go barefoot across the room and she wins if she gets to the other side without 1) bleeding or 2) using a LOT of profanities. The other night, I stumbled into Kyle's room in the middle of the night after being summoned for some ridiculous reason -- I think he might have seen a moth in the dark at 3am? I don't even know. -- and I stepped on a dozen Legos on the way out while saying a dozen bad words under my breath. That scene was being four-year-old Kyle's mom in a nutshell.
Then there is Kyle with a bunch of his friends. Wow. I just. When you get a bunch of boys together, I don't even know how to capture the noise level in words that are in my current vocabulary. Other than to encourage you to swing by the liquor store before that particular maddening afternoon. There is just something very loud and stressful and ALL CAPSY about a group of little boys together inside four walls. In fact, I'd only recommend getting a group of little boys together outside. Never inside. Without that stop by the liquor store first, that is. Also, little boys together will never be able to hear you. You will say DO NOT THROW A FOOTBALL IN MY KITCHEN and while your one little boy may hear that and listen, a group of little boys will just stop understanding English altogether. They can't help it, I've decided. They have to throw that football! It's just a truth of the universe along with taxes and Mondays being the worst and French fries being the best.
Yet, my side of the bed is the farthest from our bedroom door and he comes to me every single morning, not Mike. He climbs up and snuggles into me, all bed-heady and sleepy-eyed. He is so warm those first moments after he wakes up. He usually says, "Mommy, I love you." Then, "I'm thirsty. Get me juice, please."
When he hugs me, he wraps his arms so tightly around my neck and says, "Ohhhh, Mommy, you are the super best!"
The other night we gave him a quarter to get a piece of candy out of a machine after dinner, and he used that quarter to buy me a ring. He was so proud to give it to me. I will wear that ring until my finger turns completely green, I swear it. Maybe even after that.
He laughs with his whole body. His laughs start in his eyes and they just explode out of him and sometimes he just falls right over from laughing, he can't even help it. Where he can rough-house and fix things and fly kites and kick soccer balls with his Dad, he laughs with me. I just never knew how incredibly fun and perfect and healing that laughter would be.
He is warm and sweet and wonderful and pure. He is so sunny and bright. Raising him is a gift. A dream come true.
When I hear that anyone I know is having a son, my first instinct is to say, "Ohhhhh, you are about to be told the very best secret" because that's the best way I can think to describe it.
You see boys running wildly through the grocery store, you see dirty, smelly boys shooting pretend guns on the playground, you see their bruised, scratched-up legs from afar and you don't get it. I didn't get it. They're so loud, you might think. They're so much. They really do throw footballs around your kitchen EVEN WHEN YOU TELL THEM NOT TO. Their shoes aren't nearly as cute, either, are they?
But, then you have one. A son. Your son. Your boy. And he snuggles into you first thing in the morning and he wraps his arms around your neck and he spends his only quarter on you and he laughs with his whole self and he calls you (his mom!) the super best.
You get it.
You've been told a secret. The very best secret.
The secret of having a son.