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Mama’s Boys are Growing Up

I have no one to blame but myself.

I mean, raising mama’s boys was almost a goal. I loved how much they needed me. I loved doing things for them.  It was my twisted pleasure to find myself at 2 am sleepwalking between nursing a baby to comforting a boy who woke with a nightmare to helping another boy to the bathroom.  I took pride in refusing help; taking all my boys with me to doctor appointments or errands, snubbing carpools to drive myself crazy instead. I catered three different meals at night, picked up their toys because it was easier, zipped my son’s jacket at five years-old and tied shoes at 10.

They asked and I answered. “Can you pack my back pack? Can you get me a snack? Can you can you can you…?”

‘Yes! Mommy can!’ was my war cry.

And mommy did. Again and Again.

See honey, no one else will cut off those crusts, make you a perfect scrambled egg or wash your Spiderman shirt so you could wear it every day like I can.

Was it dysfunctional and co-dependent? Yup. Would I do it again? Probably.

Because back then, we were all one happy needy bunch of love and it was good.

But now that my boys are 6, 9 and 12, I see things a little differently.

In fact, I see them at 30…

They would of course still be living at home because why would they leave free room, board, a stocked fridge and complimentary housekeeping?

There would be hair scruff in all my bathroom sinks, dirty underwear and socks on the floor and loud snoring from every bedroom.

I probably would suffocate from all the gas inhalation.

Or die from embarrassment when they run in on me in the bathroom to demand justice when one of them uses the others deodorant or finishes the last bag of chips.

I may as well just put a cot by the washing machine and sleep there.

And I could never just sit and enjoy a cup of wonderful, steaming coffee in the morning since I’d be dragging their asses out of bed for work – if they had jobs – and making them eggs, three different ways.

All of a sudden, raising mama boys didn’t look as appealing.

So lately I’ve been loosening those ties, and giving my boys more independence and responsibility. They now get themselves dressed in the morning, wash up and tie their own shoes. They do the recyclables and empty the dish washer. They put their clothes away and make their own snacks. They know what they have to do and do it.

Well, usually.

Okay, sometimes.

It’s a process.

But we’ll get there. Because now I see that you don’t mess with the natural order of things. Children grow, you lovingly guide them on the road to being responsible and then you gently shove them out to greener pastures.

Of course they must still call daily, visit at least once a week and marry girls you deem appropriate.

I may no longer want mama’s boys, but mama’s men just might work.

 

But not yet... sigh

But not yet… sigh

 

All Hail Mama’s Boys

Before my son even opens his eyes in the morning, his arms are reaching for a hug. I happily embrace his warm body, and his sleepy smile could wake the sun. “Come on, baby.” I coo. “It’s time.”

He purrs like a kitten instead of a 10 year-old boy, and when I detach myself, he pouts, “Nooo.”

“Nope. No more hugs. Get on up.” I shake him till he giggles, then play time is over and I turn to business. “Your clothes are on the floor. Brush your teeth and get downstairs.” I leave him and hope I don’t have to make a trip back up to wake him again.

My five and eight year-olds are already dressed and downstairs, finished with their breakfasts and playing a computer game in their time before school, when my oldest sleepwalks into the kitchen and immediately attaches himself to my side. “Mama.”

I love it, like the sick, needy mother I am, and take a moment to lean my head against his before ushering him into his morning routine.

Occasionally, some person has the nerve to say to me, “Oh you have three boys? You know boys, they leave.”  I always respond with a smug smile and say, “Not if you do it right.”

And although I believe that, it still touches a nerve, because to some extent, of course, it’s true. Boys love their mommies, until they get a wife. Boys are so affectionate when they are young, but somewhere along the way, they seem to detach. No. That will not do at all.  That’s why I have worked hard to make my boys ‘mama’s boys,’ and they have pretty much towed the line, but the results vary.

My youngest is a wild child, full of love and energy. Even if he really isn’t one anymore, he’s the baby and he still acts like one, cuddling and preferring mommy’s company to any other. Score! My middle son has got the most spunk and fight in him, but he’s also a clingy little monkey around his mommy’s neck. Score!

But my oldest, has by far, exceeded my mama boy expectations. A sentimentalist at heart, wistful at five for who he was at four, he is openly expressive in his emotions and affections and really, really, really loves his mommy. Homerun!

I worry a little that I’m ruining my boys for all the girls, but, only a little. Because, we all know that the best men are the ones who love and respect their mothers. Eventually, poo poo poo (sorry it’s the future Jewish grandma in me), my boys will grow up and leave to have their own lives and children. While I sort of dread the day when my reign comes to an end, I will quietly – although it will be hard to muffle all of my sobbing – step back and do my best to win over their significant others. Really, what else can I do?

Often, at the end the day, my oldest son gets off the bus from school and runs straight to me, wrapping his arms around me, and says, “It’s been six hours since I hugged my mommy.”

My other boys, their competitive natures stirred, jump in for the hug.

These boys are going to break my heart.

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Hope everyday is Mother’s Day!