1. When I look at them, I don’t just see the son I have, I see the man they will one day be. I see someone’s husband, father, or leader. I see forerunners of the next generation who will be influential in their areas where God has called them to. I see the societal impact that they will one day have.
2. They tend to be more physical. I hug my sons and daughters. But when my sons hug me, it’s like a cross between a sleeper hold and a head lock. And sometimes I think they want to snuggle but they really want to wrestle, and be tossed into the air and roll around on the ground.
3. They use fewer words. And more sound effects. My oldest son is still young, but loves to talk to me. And I love to listen. He tells me stories, he describes his day to me, he shares his grand plans for the future. He tells me the good, the gross and the super cool. But then there are times that we don’t have to say a word. Sometimes we just sit, or sometimes we just run….jump…climb. And other times we just growl, roar, zap, ping, fling, kazow and so on. We use words when we want to and don’t when we don’t.
4. They often appreciate the grosser things in life. If it gurgles, belches, or in other ways release gas, it will usually evoke laughter. They appreciate slime and goop and puddles and any combination of the aforementioned. Which is not to say that some girls don’t (we do) but without the appreciation of pink, frilly, flowery things, a boys appreciation for its opposite provides more of a contrast.
5. I love their brut strength. Muscle, brawn, whatever you care to call it, it gets the job done. My boys observe nature outdoors, but when nature comes indoors-they kill it with their bare hands. Usually it’s just ants or spiders, but they take care of it. They race to open doors for us ladies, they love lifting “heavy” things, moving furniture, and fixing things.
6. I love their lack of complexity. I would hardly call men simple, and I do not agree with the way that most men are portrayed as Neanderthals in the media. Yet, compared to a woman, there is a certain ease. There’s an uncomplicated approach to doing most things and a system of needs that is not a tangled, jumbled matrix of emotions. If my boys need something, I know that I can usually use one of a few plays in my mother-of-boys play book and they are good.
7. I love their hero complex. They want to come to the rescue all day every day. From fixing things to defending the “weak”. Usually it’s their sisters, me or a nearby baby. My sons want to protect everything. A robin built a nest outside of our bedroom window, my son became defender of the nest. I don’t know if this diminishes with age or not, but I hope my sons keep in touch with their inner hero forever.
8. It means a little more when they’re gentle. The fact that my boys are “all boy” or “rough and tumble” boys makes it exponentially sweeter when they control their strength and display gentle affection.
9. They are fun, and they are hilarious. Or as my oldest son would say-fuhlarious. That’s a cross between fun and hilarious. They have a way of bringing fun and levity into nearly any situation…even situations I’d rather not have it in. I need the balance having boys brings.
10. I love the glimpses of their dad that I see in them. This is not to say that I am thrilled to see them leave tiny underwear on the floor of their bathroom, but I love the nuances of his personality that I see in them. I love to see my husband’s smile on my son’s face. Or look at his feet and see a tiny version of his father’s feet. I love to see his dad’s patience and contentment in him, and sense of adventure in our other son. Seeing my husband as a father adds a priceless dimension to our relationship.
Bonus Reason: They are surprising! Just when you think you want to put a boy in a box…don’t! My boys never cease to wow me. They thoughtfully surprise me with flowers, cards, books, snacks and unexpected hugs and kisses. I have learned to speak their language and they have surprised me by learning mine.