I had an ultrasound done when I was 35 weeks pregnant and was told I was definitely having a boy. It was nice to know which name we were going to use but otherwise I felt panicked. I have no brothers and there’s quite an age gap (not to mention distance) between me and my next oldest male cousin. I had no idea how to raise a little boy. I had no real idea what little boys were like.
Emma wasn’t two years old yet. Would Jeremy want to play with her? Would they have anything in common? I reminded myself that my next oldest sister and myself don’t have anything in common. Gender wasn’t an indication of common interests.
I’ve read blogs where the parents were wondering what was going on when their son was quite small but I was pretty much oblivious when it came to Jeremy. He seemed pretty typical compared to most of the kids I knew. I just never paid that much attention to the fact those kids were girls.
This being said, I know there’s a wide range of “normal”. And yet…
When mothers start talking about raising boys I find myself with almost nothing to say. Even the topics that start with something in common tend to fizzle.
“Oh… Pokemon! Jeremy loves Pokemon, he’s always trying to collect the sparkly cards…” Nope, the other boys were battling, not looking for pretty cards.
The closest Jeremy’s gotten to sports is two summers of non-competitive soccer and even then he didn’t play a position (unless stump in the middle of the field counts). Last time he watched hockey was when he had a circuit board in pieces on his lap and the program he was watching changed. He pleaded for me to please change the channel because it felt like his soul was being sucked out the top of his head.
If Jeremy’s sitting on the couch, yelling at the screen, he’s not watching a sporting event. Last time was a decorating show.
“Come on! Seriously, you have to pick that house! They put in granite counter tops and landscaped the entire backyard. They even put in a rockery.”
I look over to see Jeremy leaned forward, yelling at the TV, his mug of tea nearby. They picked the granite counter-top house. Jeremy was relieved.
Then we got home this evening.
“Mom, there was a man who broke his penis. He wanted to get closer to nature and was having sex in a tree and fell out.”
Jeremy informed me this as I was getting dinner ready. Tonight, that meant sorting out the styrofoam take out containers. Jeremy’s counseling appointment ran right through dinnertime.
“I seem to recall reading about that,” I replied. “They should have stayed on the ground. Just as much nature and no chance of falling off anything.”
Jeremy poured his hot and sour soup into his favourite red bowl. “Maybe having sex in a tree would be okay for lesbians but it would be bad for gay sex…” He stopped, looking frankly horrified.
“I meant straight,” he babbled. “It would be bad for straight sex.”
“I think it would be a bad idea for any sex,” I said, pretending not to notice his panicked reaction.
Jeremy stayed silent as we sorted the rest of the food.
“Mom,” he said solemnly. “When I grow up I’m going to breastfeed my baby.”
I’m guessing this is another conversation most parents don’t have with their teenage sons.