Thoughts On Family and Raising Boys


I am one of four girls and between us all we have six children, five of which are boys. My oldest sister, Anne, has three sons who are 4, 5, and 6 years old.

For two years after my daughter was born, Anne kept my kids a few days a week along with her own while I went to work. That left her with five kids under 5 years old. I don’t know how, but she not only survived this, she excelled at it. I never once came to pick them up in the afternoon to find her curled up in the fetal position in a corner while the children ran wild, and for that fact alone I issue her a giant high five.

During those years with my sister, Anders developed a close relationship with his cousins. It is something I really treasure, having grown up all over the country as a military brat and away from extended family. I can’t get enough of watching my son play with his cousins. 

While he enjoys the company of all three of the boys, there is one in particular that he seems to pair off with during our weekly family get togethers. My nephew Tristan is 4 and the baby of his family. He is quiet and sweet and prefers to first watch his more rowdy brothers from the sidelines until he has the hang of something before jumping into the thick of it.

He is so like Anders and I love that the two of them have one another. While the four boys all play nicely together, my older nephews tend to be more wide open and rough. Anders and Tristan are the softer balance. I envision them down the line as the voices of reason when the older two dream up a crazy stunt or scheme.

Coming from a family of all girls, it is almost comical to find our parents’ home now filled with the sounds that come with a gaggle of little boys. It is an idea each of us has adjusted to in turn when the ultrasound tech let us know we could begin buying blue.

We are a quartet of sisters learning how to raise men (and one very rambunctious tomboy) and I can’t imagine it any other way.

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