Snakes, Snails, and
Little Boy Tales:
Unique Joys in Raising Sons
By Jessica Fisher
Sugar and spice and everything nice… I relished
that description as a little girl. Lace and ruffles? That was me! Unathletic and
uninterested in bugs and creeping things, I was happiest to be inside with quiet
After I married and was expecting our first child, I very
much anticipated the birth of a girl. That would make so much sense. I could do
“girl things.” I could bake cookies and have tea parties. I knew great girly
books to read as she grew. Yes, a girl it would be. Imagine my surprise when,
after 24 hours of labor, my husband announced, “It’s a boy!”
As our family has grown, so have the number of boys in the
house. I now have not one, but four boys...four active, imaginative,
Jedi-loving, sword-fighting outdoorsmen. Needless to say, I am being stretched
beyond where my comforts lie.
This break from my expectations is evidence of God's divine
sense of humor as well as an opportunity for great growth. Having boys has made
me more patient, gentler, calmer (like when blood is oozing from wounds), and
less worried. And I discovered that the outdoors isn’t so bad. I love working in
the garden, and books can be read outside.
As the mother of only boys, I have unique opportunities:
I get to practice my first aid techniques. They say that if
you don’t use your skills, you lose them. I have called Poison Control more
times than I can count. I have held back tears while my toddler was strapped to
a papoose board in order to have a split chin mended. I can recite all the
symptoms of a concussion.
Recently, five-year-old Jordan jumped off a two-foot wall
with his hands in his pockets, a very BOY thing to do. He fell and broke his
fall with his face -- because his hands were in his pockets! So, after lots of
blood, screaming, and a bag of ice, we got it under control. Calm assurance is
an important part of first aid, and I have had to learn to calm down.
I know how to use the Force. I was a minor Star Wars fan as a
child. What little girl didn’t want Princess Leia’s hairdo? Never did I think
that those movies would have such popularity some thirty years later, or that my
children would be so obsessed. My boys know every character and every detail of
every character’s light saber. Star Wars-themed graffiti have been emblazoned in
the dust on my windows and scribbled in sidewalk chalk on my driveway. I have
had the uncanny experience of finding the only light saber left in town and
snatching it up from Target’s shelf, as if I have found the greatest treasure
that could grace a discount store. I am touched when someone says, “You get to
be Padme, Mama.”
I serve as a language translator. Several months ago
three-year-old Calvary drew his first picture of a person, complete with a face,
eyes, ears, etc. I asked him to tell me about his picture.
He said, "It's a beautiful baboon."
I thought, Wow. He remembers what a baboon is and he drew
one. We did read Altoona Baboona last week. What a memory!
At bedtime, I told him again what a beautiful picture he
drew. He said, "Sadie drew one, too." Sadie, 13, is one of our baby sitters.
Yes, Sadie had been drawing pictures. However, what Sadie drew was not a baboon,
but a ballerina. Baboon, ballerina, that's an easy mistake to make, I'm sure. To
a boy, at least this one, they're about the same.
I am gaining a teachable heart. One day last fall, the boys
and I toured Costco, feasting on samples, one of their favorite things to do.
For some reason we attracted a lot of attention. I don't know if it was their
number, or that they’re all boys. One woman struck up a conversation, "Are these
My husband's favorite response to this question is, "No, I
get to share them with my wife." I was not thinking on my feet, however, so I
meekly said, "Yes."
"All boys? Wow."
Sometimes I can be defensive about boys. They get a bad rap
these days. I answered, "Yep. We have a lot of fun at our house."
She started to walk away. Jordan at my side, piped up.
"Actually," he said, "we have a lot of fights."
Ah, the taste of humble pie! We do have fun, but there are
squabbles as well. Mothering my boys is teaching me that I don’t know
everything. Things aren’t always as rosy as I would like to think. Being willing
to learn from them and grow makes the experience worth it. With children like
mine, I am a rich woman.
Life is never boring at my house. In fact, it is filled with
laughs and fun. I am the proud mother of four sweet, tender, fun-loving, boyish
boys. It is a complete joy! One that I wouldn't trade for all the tea parties in
– Jessica Fisher makes her home near Kansas City with her husband,
their four sons - and a new baby girl born last fall!