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To the Moms of Boys: I Salute You

It was a not-so-typical Friday night. My girl’s toys were strewn across the house and her laughter could be heard from the other room. That part was normal. What set this night apart, however, was what she was laughing at.

My friend’s little boy was running from room to room screaming at the top of his lungs. Every time he passed the hall closet, he ran headfirst into it, at full steam. With intention.

And my little girl shrieked with laughter. Even while sitting on the floor herself, sweetly rocking her baby doll to “sweep.”

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I sat back, mostly amused at the scene playing out in front of me. Our little friend was spending the night, a first at our house, though I have watched him plenty of times at his own. The difference is that our house is a fairly small condo, just under 800 square feet, whereas his home is large and open, offering plenty of space for him to expend the boundless energy he always seems to have coursing through his veins.

In the confines of my small home, that energy now seemed just a touch overwhelming. The noise. The running. The hockey stick he wouldn’t put down. I couldn’t help but laugh and say a silent thank you for my comparably calm little girl.

Because if I had been given a boy, I’m pretty sure we would have had to move.

In our circle of friends, we laugh about the differences between our kids all the time. My daughter is routinely one of the only girls in a pack of boys, all within a few years of each other. And while she tries her darndest to keep up, those boys are (and likely forever will be) so much more rough and tumble than she is. There is never a get-together that doesn’t result in some sort of wrestling or sword fight. The boys yell and climb up on top of the tallest surface they can find before jumping haphazardly to the ground. And my girl gives kisses. And hugs. And wants to sit in your lap to cuddle.

Don’t get me wrong; she has plenty of energy herself. And our days are typically planned around activities to get her out of the house and using that energy up. It’s just that her energy tends to be of the quieter variety. And when the boys try to hug-wrestle her (their own brand of hug that involves squeezing as tightly as they can until both members of the hug are wrestling on the ground) she is always more than just a little confused as to why they aren’t just hugging.

You, my fellow mommies, are superwomen. Because chasing after that much energy, day in and day out, has got to be exhausting.

Obviously there are no absolutes in the world. And I am sure there are little girls who have energy levels that could rival these boys we spend our time with, just as I am sure there are little boys so sedated and calm that they would bore my girl to tears. But in general, I think its fairly common knowledge that boys tend to be high energy. Study after study shows that they are the ones who struggle most with sitting still in school, and more than one of my boy-mama friends has commented on how strikingly different my sweet and demure little girl is from their rough and tumble tots. Of course, we also laugh about how this will likely change in the years to come – while I may have the “easy” child now, the tides are sure to turn during the teenage years.

Still, I watch these little boys I love so much and I can’t help but smile. They quite literally bounce off the walls, and while I adore playing the role of auntie and getting down on the ground with them for a good wrestling match every now and again — their mommies are the ones keeping up with that energy on a full-time basis. A job which seems, admittedly, quite exhausting to me.

Our house is never loud like that. If my girl cries, it rarely lasts more than a minute. And besides that? She is never yelling just to yell. Never hurling herself into walls just to see what happens. In fact, it is not a rarity at all for me to walk around the corner and find her quietly “reading” books to herself in the corner. She helps pick up her toys and kisses each and every one before putting them away. And at bedtime, more often than not, she brings me her stuffed bunny and looks up at me with tired eyes as she says, “Nigh-Nigh,” her signal that she is ready to be put in her crib.

Our little friend, on the other hand, apparently gets only more rambunctious as he gets tired. A level of “crazy” his mom told me I should be on the lookout for, as that would be the only signal I would get that he was ready for bed.

And so, to the moms of boys, I salute you. Because … wow. I love those boys in our lives and am thankful every day my daughter gets to grow up alongside them. But you, my fellow mommies, are superwomen as far as I am concerned. Because chasing after that much energy, day in and day out, has got to be exhausting. Fun and exciting and hilarious to be sure, but also completely and totally energy-draining.

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So get those boys of yours to bed and pour yourself a glass of wine. Have a drink on me and know that this mommy is raising her glass to you.

While standing back in awe of the level of energy it must take on your part to keep up with those rough and tumble little boys I see you chasing after!

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