On having a son
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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