My sons are still babies to me at age seven and four. When they cry, they make a beeline to me because they know that I would drop anything — no matter how important —in order to stretch my arms out and hold them close. I will smell the tops of their sweet heads while they sob about hurt feelings or bonked knees. I’ll wipe away tears and do my best to tell a joke that will make them laugh.
Being the mother of sons is a special and unique privilege that I wish everyone could know as intimately as I do. Growing up in a house full of women, I had no idea about the secret life of boys since I never had a brother or a dad. The universe must have realized this mistake, because once I hit parenthood, I was given the miracle of sons — in all their exhausting glory.
So when I came across a viral post on the Facebook page Three Boys and a Mom earlier this week about the unspoken beauty of raising boys, I damn near cried my eyes out.
It reads in full:
“A mother is her son’s home base. You are home to him. When he learns to walk, he will wobble a few feet away from you and then come back, then wobble a little farther and then come back. When he tries something new, he will look for your proud smile. When he learns to read, he will repeat the same book to you 20 times in a row, because you’re the only one who will listen that many times. When he plays a sport, he will search for your face in the stands. When he is sick, he will call you. When he really messes up, he will call you. When he is grown and strong and tough and big and he feels like crying, he will come to you; because a man can cry in front of his mother without feeling self-conscious. Even when he grows up and has a new woman in his life and gets a new home you are still his mother; home base, the ever constant, like the sun. Know that in your heart and everything else will fall into place.”
The powerful quote, which was originally written by Tabitha of the blog Team Studer, instantly struck a chord with Rachael Boley, the writer behind Three Boys and a Mom, which is what prompted her to share it earlier this week.
“I read that passage years ago when my twins were just babies, and honestly, I’m not sure how I stumbled upon the original post,” Boley tells Babble. “I do know it stuck with me though. I remember reading the post and thinking to myself, ‘Yes. Yes to every word of this. That is the kind of mom I’m going to be for them.'”
The post, which has since been shared more than 28k times clearly “stuck” with thousands of other parents, too — including me.
“When my twins were born, people used to always say to me, ‘Oh my gosh better you than me,'” Boley shares. “It always bothered me because I’ve never felt like twins, nor twin boys, were a burden or some kind of awful joke from God. In fact, quite the opposite. They were my redemption. My call back to life and my journey toward wholeness. I’d have loved them just as much if they were girls and I’m sure that bond would’ve been just as strong, But God gave me boys and I’m grateful for many reasons.”
The response to Boley’s post has been pretty darn incredible so far, with many fellow “boy moms” commenting how much Tabitha’s words ring true for them, too:
“I’m so honored and humbled to have had such an explosion from this little post that wasn’t even my original words but certainly my life sentiments,” Boley confesses. “I view writing and my blog as an opportunity to connect with others and find more ‘me too’ moments in life. I also love the opportunity to highlight the beauty of motherhood and remind us all of the bigger picture of who we are and what we get to do as parents. To be real about the struggles while always remembering the gifts. I feel like this post allowed more of that to happen and for that I’m grateful.”
Her post, which is a heartfelt and wise reminder that although boys may be rambunctious (and OMG, they really, REALLY are!), they are also the sweetest and most precious little beings in the world, who revere their mothers. On the hard days, I will be sure to pull this quote out to remind myself of that special bond.