And so at 3:00 we decided to head to the hospital (before Julia woke up from her nap, and before the contractions were difficult, I didn't want Julia to see me in pain) and at 10:03...
I can still remember saying..."It's a boy! I have a son! I knew it was a boy!"
I can still remember John's wide smile and proud look...
I can still remember hearing, "He has RED hair!!!"
My beautiful baby boy was here, and having a daughter first who has always been so loved, and fearful that I might not have enough room to love this new baby, all those doubts went right out the window and it was love at first sight.
This was the brother she waited for. She had been kissing my tummy for months and now he was here, and life was wonderful with our new baby boy. We all love and cherish him. You can still see Julia sneaking hugs and kissing him each night before bed. I hear Mark say, "You're beautiful Julia," when I brush her hair. or "Good job Marky!" When Julia sees him succeed in school.
There something very special about feeling like your family is now complete because all it's members are here and present, and life is truly wonderful.
And so begins our journey with Bringing Up Boys: Practical advice and encouragement for those shaping the next generation of men by Dr. James Dobson....
Chapter 1 The Wonderful World of Boys
If I quote James Dobson in our study I will put his words in quotes and bold it so you know what is my writing and what is his writing.
I was so excited to have a daughter first! I wanted a girl so badly I could just feel it! It didn't help that all throughout my pregnancy every said I carried like I was having a boy, but since we wanted to be surprised we didn't let the doctor tell us. I come from a family of girls. I have two sisters. I mostly babysat for girls growing up and I just felt very confident about raising a daughter, and I was so excited to fix her hair in bows and dress her in pretty dresses and socks with lace.
My second pregnancy we also didn't find out the sex of the baby but I had a feeling by how gentle the baby was that it couldn't be a girl like Julia, Julia was so active and strong in the womb, this baby was so mellow, so I had a feeling it might be a boy. I wanted a boy so badly this time, but I was intimidated...how would I raise a son? I didn't know the first thing about boys, or boy toys, or boy shows or boy anything, I've always been a very girly girl.
In this chapter Dr. James Dobson says, "Boy are usually (but not always) tougher to raise than their sisters are. Girls can be difficult to handle too, but there is something especially challenging about boys. Although individual temperaments vary, boys are designed to be more assertive, audacious, and excitable than girls are."Well, here is where we are different. So far, Julia has been our strong willed very active, independent, assertive and audacious! (Mind you she's only 3 1/2 but so far that would explain her to a T!) Where as Mark is so mellow, calm, and easy going. He flows like a river. He just does whatever we say to do and really doesn't test us...but he is only 2 and that can obviously change, and actually we are starting to see some signs of testing here and there. However, disciplining Mark is a snap, you really just have to give him "the look" or tell him once to stop the negative behavior and right away you hear, "I'm sorry mommy."
However, on page 4 Dr. Dobson starts to talk about how boys have a "tendency to risk life and limb for no good reason. It begins very early. If a toddler can climb on it, he will jump off it."And this I can definitely relate to! For instance, Mark was climbing up and down the stairs around 8-9 months...it would scare me, but he could totally do it! We won't say how many tumbles he had, or how many times he climbed the coffee table after his stitches incident. But one funny thing about Mark is he always has a reason when you ask him why did you do that, he would say, "Mommy, I see garbage truck!" "Mommy I see school bus!" he always wanted to climb the coffee table to see outside the window. Let's just say if my coffee table didn't weigh a million pounds we would have gotten rid of it. No matter where we put it, someone gets hurt on it. It amazes me how boys have no fear even after they fall. Julia would learn her lesson quickly in that department, but to Mark it is always an adventure.
Then Dr. Dobson goes into the major question: "How can we steer our boys and girls past the many negative influences that confront them on every side?"Obviously we all want to raise good boys in this day and age when it seems like good boys are few and far between. I'm actually so happy I found John and married a godly man because it just seems like nowadays it is very hard to find godly men out there who are looking to honor God with their lives. Am I right?
Dr. Dobson says, "Our purpose in this regard will be to assist mothers and fathers as they "play defense" on behalf of their sons--that is as they protect their boys from immoral and dangerous enticements. But that is not enough. Parents also need to play offense to capitalize on the impressionable years of childhood by instilling in their sons the antecedents of character."
"And of course, the ultimate goal for people of faith is to give each child and understanding of Scripture and a lifelong passion for Jesus Christ."Some reasons why I think boys are wonderful:
1. They adore their mommy!
2. They have wonderful laughs and smiles...Mark's laugh is contagious.
3. They are so curious.
4. They always want to be near mom, whether its snuggling on the couch, holding her leg while she cooks, or sitting in her lap.
5. They find humor in ALL bodily functions.
6. They like bugs and getting dirty (hey wait--so does Julia!)
7. They NEED a good night kiss and hug before bedtime.
8. They tell you you are beautiful.
9. They have no fear.
10. They like really cool toys!
Two eyes that shine so bright
Two lips that kiss goodnight
Two arms that hold me tight
That little boy of mine
No one could ever know how much your coming has meant.
Because I love you so, you're something heaven sent.
You're all the world to me.
You climb upon my knee.
To me you'll always be,
That little boy of mine.
So these next couple of weeks/months we will be taking the book, Bringing up Boys, chapter by chapter, sometimes you will hear from me, sometimes you will hear from my husband John, as a guest writer, and wonderful daddy, but either way you will hear how God has been using our daughter Julia and our son Mark to help mold us and change us into being the best parents we can be.
Having children and being parents is such a gift, but it comes with such a huge responsibility, and as I always say, the days are long but the years are short. We only have a short time to instill in our children the character and godly values and a love for Christ. It seems like just yesterday we found out we were pregnant and now we are parents for almost 4 years! Time flies...
Join us on Tuesdays as we embark on the Wonderful World of Boys...