So the other day at the store, I noticed a group of adolescent boys. They were perhaps 15 or so, in that rather adorable stage between boyhood and manhood. One second they were acting too cool, the next whispering something gossipy into each other's ears.
Lately, it has been hitting me that not too long from now, that will be my son.
Growing up in a very estrogen-heavy family, boys have long been intimidating to me. I have never really been able to figure them out. They sat in class, making weird noises and doing what I deemed to be stupid things. I never got asked to "go around" in middle school. I like to tell myself it was because I was taller than all but one of them. And played sports better than most of them, too. I managed to bypass the teenage boy crap in high school because I attended an all girls high school, and my first boyfriend was 19 to my 16. Every guy before him was a very short-lived crush type of thing that basically went nowhere.
But honestly, I could never connect with boys. There was one exception, James, who I played with in grade school because our mothers had the common bond of Germany as their birthplace. Plus, they were fairly wealthy and he had some awesome games and toys that made it hard to resist going over there. And even with James, I don't remember ever having any deep conversations, we just got along pretty well and had similar temperaments.
When I found out I was pregnant with a boy, I was pleased. I had always secretly wanted my eldest to be a boy, for whatever reason. I liked the idea of a big brother to whatever sex sibling came along next. Lately, though, my lack of male equipment and the implications that follow has been growing steadily more evident. I am not really a prissy type of woman, in fact I think I play baseball better than Hubba-hubba. But I just don't have the same testosterone-fueled impulses.
Mr. Personality has been reminding me of a kitten. You know how kittens can be kind of calm one minute, and the next thing you know, they are bouncing on top of the sofa, bounding across to the chair, and yowling the whole time? That pretty much sums it up. He has been doing things so impulsively, with such physicality, that I wonder if I am going to be able to contain him. He and his father can spend all morning rough housing, and if he doesn't get his RDA of it, he goes a little more nuts than usual.
And yes, there are girls that can be like that, blah blah. But being one myself, they don't quite have the same level of intensity, and are often capable of slowing themselves down. We recently went out with some friends who have two girls, five and 19 months. There was a little park we went to stroll in after dinner, and the girls got sick of playing in the grass after about ten minutes and went to sit down on a bench. They sat there calmly and quietly, watching people go by.
My kid? He had collected three sticks and was furiously excavating a dirt pile, chattering happily to himself.
Did I miss the day when they handed out the decoder rings?