Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Oh Boy, Oh Boy

I have several confessions to make.

I hate football. Loathe, detest, and despise it. I'm no real fan of sports, in general, unless you count yoga, and the Yankees. Yankee baseball I can deal with.

I like my nature safely confined to manicured, relatively-bug free backyards with concrete patios, or behind clean glass. Clean glass containing air-conditioned air.

I can't imagine getting up at the crack of dawn to go fishing. I think I'd rather get up at the crack of dawn to clean a basement.

If my life depended on athletic prowess, this would be my eulogy.

I like pink.

I still have all my Barbie dolls. Some of them are on display in my home. And I keep acquiring MORE.

I still have all of the following, too: Cabbage Patch Kids, baby dolls, a bride doll (still on display in my old bedroom in my parents' home), play lipstick, and play purses.

Not too many years ago, I bought a tiny vintage apron for my theoretical future daughter. It was just too cute to resist.

Basically, I'm a girly girl.

And now I have two sons.

I am a bit intimidated by this.

I know many mothers without daughters fear missing out on things like clothes shopping, or wedding planning. These are things I can live without. My own wedding planning was extensive enough to carry me through the rest of my life. I frequently prefer to shop alone.

I am worried, however, that I will someday have an allergic reaction to the cloud of testosterone that will undoubtedly form near the crown moldings in my home. I may eventually have a nervous breakdown from having to empty the pockets of the pants of all the male members of my family prior to doing laundry (I always empty my own pockets before putting my pants in the hamper). I am worried I will someday fall into the toilet after the seat gets stuck in a permanently lifted position. I am worried that images of basketball games will get burned into the picture tubes of my television, and will be visible even when I turn the channel to Lifetime. Speaking of lifetimes, I fear for one filled with future mockings aimed at me due to my fondness for Us Weekly and Glamour's Do's and Don'ts.

Ty is a good sport. He rented The Devil Wears Prada for me and even watched it with me, and he's always patient whenever I scrutinize Tori Spelling's augmented cleavage gap out loud, or disappear into the shoe section at Lord & Taylor.

Mostly, though, I'm worried about living in a house where no one really, truly gets me on a fundamental level. And I'm worried about not having anything in common with my children. And I'm worried about them not respecting the things that interest me. Even the frivolous things--respecting them for the fluffy treats that they are.

I do have some traditionally-masculine traits: lawyering, for one. An interest in science. An appreciation for sarcasm and parody. A fascination with surgery, taxidermy, corpses, and the macabre. And gendered-activity distinction lines get blurred more and more. I just hope that I have enough within me, on a human level, separate from maleness or femaleness, that my children will want to be friends with me. At least until they hit 13; then, all bets are off.


Blogger Mignon said...

I was going to try to talk you down from the ledge with some words of wisdom about all of us having anxiety wrt kids not meshing with our interests, but really, you're right. It will be hard for you and the boys to communicate/coexist on a certain level. They probably will stink and talk like dorky boys (potty talk for boys starts at 2 - who knew?). And you're going to hate their favorite movies and overgrown eyebrows.

But on the other hand, part of you will become part of them, and someday you'll realize you're sitting around having a cup of tea on a Sunday discussing why flat-front pants are better. And you'll notice that your boys are nodding in understanding, even while watching the Sunday Morning NFL Pregame show. They'll get it. And also, someday their girlfriends/wives will whisper thank you to you for raising boys that WILL know what to do with a toilet seat and a garlic press.

11:01 AM  
Anonymous TB said...

I think Mignon is so right Arabella. You'll find common ground with your sons because it's important for you to do so. So many parents (of girls or boys) never even try. You're already one step ahead.

12:36 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

Gotta chime in and agree with the others. I felt somewhat similarly when I had Oliver and even now, with him being 2, we have a lot in common. And I've found that the things he's interested in, I'm interested in, too. Sort of. ;)

12:56 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

But! There won't be the mother/daughter head-butting contest. And boys often love their moms pretty openly. I hate to generalizelike that, but I've found it to be true.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Ditsy Chick said...

Have you heard how tween and teenage girls scream? All the freaking is at those weekend trips to McD's when I become profoundly grateful to have all boys.

Ditto on the sports stuff, but you will see that boys toys are much better than girl toys (have you seen the Bratz dolls?).

I worry about the boys leaving my house for college and never calling me again. I worry about the boy stuff as well, but I think it has to work itself out and things will be okay.

12:09 AM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

Yesterday my son turned 12. He's entered that stage where it's hard to be comfortable in your own skin and in your own life.

He loves video games--something I loathe. He's fascinated with weapons--something I don't understand. We have found common ground in the world of frogs, newts, and other amphibians. We meet each other half way in many areas.

But neither of us likes sports. We're both moody and reserved, and he completely GETS my sense of humor. Even as his voice changes and his legs get bulky and hairy, he's still my boy. Always.

3:33 AM  
Blogger ptg said...

From the testosterone camp: my mother was the only female in the house. She didn't like having to empty my pants pockets (and finding live garter snakes in them), but she took the opportunity to teach me the traditional ways that men interact with women.

They have nearly gone out of fashion, but gentlemanly manners are still serviceable. Hardly a day goes by when I'm not grateful to my mom for making sure I was well taught. Occasionally, I run across a lady that also appreciates mom's efforts.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous c.s. said...

sorry for the lateness of my two cents... many wise comments here that i'm in agreement with. reading this post, i thought of your brother. you ought to take solace in the closeness and understanding you and your parents have with him.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous wordgirl said...

Having grown up in a house of girls (and now living in a house of boys) I completely get what you're saying. I'm not terribly girly, though I tend to squash the things about me that are so that I can survive better here. I'm not sure if that is better or worse.

8:17 AM  

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