First of all, I obviously do not yet have children. However, I do live with 3 men. Yup, that’s right, I live with 3 grown men. Nearly every female I know asks, “How do you do it? And why?!” I then share with them the exact reasons why, which are incredibly practical, but I often walk away from the conversation wondering how and why I do it too! I have lived with them for the last year and a half, and it never occurred to me why the universe worked my life out this way until a few weeks ago; I need to know what it is like to live with boys, so I better understand how to guide, mentor, and educate my own.
My fiancé has a mantra, if you will, with regards to the next generation: “I only produce boys.” Yes, it is absolutely true that he believes he will only produce male children. I have decided that the universe will grant me with at least one girl aka my new best gal pal, but in the event that I bear primarily male children, or all male children (say it won’t be so!), I want to begin contemplating the lessons I will teach them. I have experience with men, obviously, but it is another animal living with them. And although all of the lessons are not ones that I learned from the 3 of them, here, in this house, the process of becoming a #BoyMom has commenced. So here it goes…
My Future Sons, keep a clean house and a clean car. Growing up, these habits will be enforced by your momma, as I am a controlling neat freak, but carry my example into adulthood. Your future roommates, girlfriends, and wives (or husbands!), will love and appreciate your efforts to organize and purify your dwelling spaces. This includes, but is not limited to: washing your own dishes, throwing away your trash, bi-annually clearing out your closet, and rinsing away the bi-products of your last shave from the bathroom sink.
My Future Sons, strive for nearly impeccable personal hygiene. While Momma knows that she came from a state where guys go tanning and wax their eyebrows, I don’t expect primping to this level. However, every man owes it to himself, and to those around him, to learn proper grooming habits. For example, brushing your teeth every day is not optional, it is mandatory. Showering after sweating should not occur the next day, it should occur within several hours. And so on.
My Future Sons, no means no. If a girl says no, it means NO. If you’re not sure, or think she might mean yes, but the word “yes” never actually passes her lips, it means no. Momma understands; girls have a way sometimes of saying no when they really mean yes. However, this is only applicable to you in an already loving and meaningful relationship. For example, sometimes Momma tells Dad no, but he knows she really means yes. [Insert mental picture of my sons squirming, covering their ears, and pleading with me to stop talking]. Moving on.
My Future Sons, have confidence in everything you do. This is the key to success, to love, to life, to everything. Know that Momma loves you no matter what.
My Future Sons, there is no such tolerance for the statement, “That’s a woman’s job.” By the time you are in the workforce, I’m sure that most of your bosses will be women. It fills Momma’s heart with joy to know that your one sister will reap the benefits of the current women’s movement. As for you, I have no doubt that you will prosper if you respect that movement. However, there is a tolerance, in very few cases, for the statement, “That’s a man’s job.” Jobs for men include dealing with mice and insects where they don’t belong, taking out the gross trash, grilling steaks, opening pickle jars, and reaching for platters on the highest shelves. Momma and your future sister thank you for handling such matters.
My Future Sons, be believers in expressing emotions, showing affection, and the power of the universe. You have little choice in the matter, as Momma relies on the universe for nearly everything; I will talk to you about it from the time you are in the womb. Understand that your belief and your actions regarding these matters will prove you to be strong men, not weak. Real men are men who take action, and not just on a football field, but in what they believe is right. Be able to say, “I love you,” without a flinch or a grimace.
My Future Sons, be those men that people describe as “the good ones.” Let your friends, your teachers, your co-workers, your family, and the barista at the coffee shop, describe you each individually as “a good guy.” Momma was always a good girl, and still is, but I remember the temptation to stray from that reputation. I remember, especially in the younger years, how it isn’t cool to be the good kid, but trust me, it pays off later in life. And if I find out that you are behaving as anything but good guys, oh bless your hearts, you thought Daddy was scary…
And finally, My Future Sons, always call your momma! Like I said, I will talk to each of you, from the day I know you’re in there about life, about love, about the cookie I’m eating, about your dad, about what your future holds, about Sassarella Says, about everything…so talk to me too. I want to hear everything you have to say. I want to hear your every thought, your every fear, your every hope, every goal, and every passion you have about anything. You are what my world revolves around, and I want you to fill it with as much content as possible.
I’m sure I will continue to stumble upon the endless lessons I want to teach you but that’s all for now. And I just have one question for everyone reading: Was anyone else reading that in a Southern accent?