thoughts on having a son

On having a son

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by Katie Clemons

Katie Clemons is a storycatcher and journal crafter. She helps people celebrate their stories with her award-winning writing prompt journals at Gadanke. She also blogs at Making This Home about simple, handmade living from a vintage airplane hangar in Montana.

Around this time last year, my husband, Martin, and I found out we were having a boy. We were so excited to become parents! I couldn’t wait to kiss my baby’s cheeks, love our child, and go on great adventures together.

But there was a small part of me that got a little scared. I live in an airplane hangar. And while I’ve added a feminine, European touch to our home with things like Amy Butler flower wallpaper and colorful art and memorabilia, I still live in an airplane hangar.

You open our front door, and you see an airplane. I’ve worked really hard to encourage women to step out of the co-pilot’s seat in life and be proactive (I even became a private pilot!), yet I would be amiss if I didn’t admit:

This place is a man’s heaven on earth.

There is no greater “man cave” than an airport.

Was I going to be a horrible mother because I can’t get into this very male stuff?

I watched my brother race off on his bike with a pack of friends, only to return because he crashed and needed stitches.

I remember babysitting boys who never tired of armpit farts and whoopee cushions.

Spatulas became hockey sticks. Jeans always had holes.

Everything had to be kicked. And airplanes were awesome – like drop everything you’re doing: an airplane was flying by.

Would Martin and our son bond over all this guy stuff at the airport, while I wouldn’t be able to share with them? Would they go on flights or head out for extreme sports like kite boarding without me?

Even though I used to be on a downhill ski team, I’m still so much slower than Martin – would I be left in their powder? What if my son and I didn’t have fun things in common? Would I become the nagging mother, telling my son, “No” and “Be careful!”?

I really worried that my son would run out to be with his dad and all the other very cool, very manly pilots.

Martin kept telling me not to worry. Our baby and I would find things in common. Our relationship would be something incredible. And who knows – maybe our son would rather take a pottery class with me or decorate the Christmas tree.

Then Niklas was born.

He snuggled against my body and wrapped his beautiful hand around my finger. I kissed his little head over and over, tears of joy filling my eyes. At that moment, I knew I couldn’t imagine life any other way, and I didn’t want to.

Niklas had given me the greatest gift of my life: I was his mom.

It feels foolish to admit that I worried I would be left out. Sometimes when the pilots start strapping Niklas’ carseat into an airplane, I admit I still catch a glimpse of that worry. But you know what? Doing those adventures mean my son is happy; that’s what I want more than anything.

Sure, there will be times when Niklas will prefer to be out with the guys. I just want him to know that I am always here for him. My arms are open.

We’ll go exploring in the mountains and in the parks. I’ll take him to swimming lessons and Boy Scout camp. I’ll put bandaids on his skinned knees. I’ll hug him when he’s sad. I’ll make him eat his broccoli. We’ll keep this mother son journal together.

(I poured my heart into creating a mother daughter journal for Gadanke when I became pregnant, then upon meeting Niklas, I absolutely knew I needed to create one for mothers and sons to share. And now it’s one of Gadanke’s most beloved journals!)

Years from now when he is away at college, I’ll write him silly cards and mail cookies and socks.

That’s what being a mom is. (Isn’t it awesome?!) I can’t even tell you how excited I am about the dinosaurs, cowboys, and toy trucks. I’m thrilled because I get to experience them through my son’s eyes. Niklas, you’ve changed my world!

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Comments

  1. I am about to have my *third* son, not one daughter in the mix. I’ve always hung with the girls…most of my life has been a “girl world.” When I found out I was having my first son, I was so afraid of what it would mean to raise a son…would I even be able to do it?! Now 4 1/2 years later and on the brink of welcoming a third little boy into our family, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I LOVE the adventures, the cars everywhere, the wrestling, the man-ness of my life now. They have brought so much to my life that I had yet to experience. It feels to full to have three boys now!

  2. Learning to embrace the scrapes, scars, and skinned knees is key to parenting a son (or a daughter). Scraped legs are healthier than sore thumbs!

    http://blog.growingthewholechild.com/scraped-legs-but-not-sore-thumbs/

  3. I was honestly worried and even a little disappointed when I found out I was having a boy. But ever since he was born I’ve just fallen in love with being his mama. And especially since he’s my only and I don’t have a girl… it’s hard for me to imagine what it would be like to have a girl. I feel like I am the mom of a boy! :)

  4. I recommend you read “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. It is a classic book about a man’s heart and how we are created by God to be wild on the inside. It reminds us that we need to let boys be boys, and that men need to help guide boys into manhood.

    best regards,
    John
    http://www.thehillofbeans.com

    • I never comment, but I just had to enthusiastically agree with John. To be honest, it was kind of a hard read for me to get into just because it appeals to a man’s heart. But, oh, what insight for this wife and mama of two boys.

      I also loved “Captivating” by Eldredge and his wife, which is essentially the woman’s version. My hubby, who has similar feelings as you regarding parenting a daughter, is working his way through it. :)

  5. This is beautiful! I never knew how much richness having sons would bring to my life – until I had two of them! Nothing like loving a little boy. I love my daughter too, don’t get me wrong. Each relationship has so many nuances and brings out different aspects of your own personality. Can’t wait to check out your blog, Katie – I love unique living arrangements!

  6. We did not find out what we were having but we were sure it was a girl…that is until a week before I delivered (and I delivered at 42 weeks, mind you) and I dreamed we were having a boy. And I knew. I just knew.

    There was a tiny bit of grief. I mean, we had pictured a girl. I was a girl so I could relate to that. But sure enough, when I finally (finally!) delivered, it was a 9.2 oz bouncing baby boy.

    If I ever had any concerns about our relationship, I needn’t have. My son and I are as close as mother and child can be. Sadly, for my husband, much closer than he and his dad are. He loves his dad, don’t get me wrong. But…my son – even at 12 and a half – is completely bonded to me. Now, he’s not a super sportsy kid, but he’s also not a reader and a writer like I am. He loves Boy Scouts and even though that wasn’t on my agenda, I was a den leader. You will find your way…

  7. Wait until you get to take your son flying! Last September I flew my son to a small airport. I loved looking over at him. I put him in charge of navigation.

    This summer I picked up my Single Engine Sea up. Flying a Super Cub on floats is amazing!

  8. I remember feeling the same way you did when I was pregnant with my first son. And then I had a second son. Now they are teenagers. I am the only girl in a home with 3 boys, but I love it. They dote on me as the only girl. When they want to have “guy time”, it allows me to have “me” time. I couldn’t imagine it any other way! Isn’t it great how God gives us exactly what we need? And how our heart can change even when we can’t imagine how? It’s going to be a great adventure!

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