Thursday, 25 February 2010

Celebrating boys

I've had a thought about writing about writing about my boys for a while, but the lovely Dana at MADE has finally spurred me on to it. When I was pregnant with Child A, I had hoped he would be a boy. Not from any innate preference towards boys per se, but because I wanted a boy first, so that any subsequent little girls I might have would have a big brother - something I feel was missing from my childhood. I didn't feel that luck would be on my side though: I am an oldest girl, as are my cousins. Mr Kinkatink's siblings all have girls first, and indeed, his oldest sibling is his (only) sister.

Once I had become the proud owner of a son, I became very aware of the second class status afforded to a lot of boys in families, where the assumption is always, as a mother, that you must have wanted a girl. Not at all! And when I got a second son, I was delighted, having well established, by then, an identity as the Mother of Boys. Now, there's a definite distinction to be made between MoBs and MoGs. That said, not all MoBs actually have boys, and vice versa - perhaps there should be an inbetween category for Mothers of TomBoys, or Mothers of MuddyGirls. What's interesting to me now is that I can't think of the equivalent for a gentle, unboyish boy that's not derogatory.

I remember, shortly after having Child B, sitting in a local park watching a big group of families, with maybe 20 children aged from 2ish to 10ish. The girls were playing all together, in a very complicated game that involved lots of bossing from older girls, disagreement, falling out, showing favourites and the like. None of them seemed very happy. The boys, by contrast, were hitting the hedge with sticks. All of them. For hours. Occasionally, they'd spontaneously run to hit a different bit of hedge. They looked so happy. At that moment, I knew where my allegiances lay.

One Two Three lovely boys, in the sunshine in Sidmouth.

And now there is a third progeny on the way, I'm getting lots more 'don't you want a girl next?' questions, which makes me feel very defensive of my little boys. But at the same time, it would be fun to have a little girl to make little dresses for. And little knickers with frilly bits to go over nappies. So I'm torn. Not helped by Child A wanting a brother and Child B wanting a sister (although they change their minds from day to day). One of the main reasons for me to want a girl is that there are so many more things to make for them - or so I thought: until Dana had her lovely 'Celebrate the Boy' month. Now I'm totally inspired to make lots and lots more lovely things for the boys in my life, instead of making things for other people's little girls. Oh alright then, as well as for other people's little girls. Thanks Dana. I'm really celebrating my boys!

1 comment:

Helena said...

Lovely post. I love my boys (five nephews) too and you are a very good MOB(ster).
However, girls are surprisingly more fun and less girly than I imagined them. Can't wait to see what you get.