Boys are wonderful. They are sensitive, loving, sharing, caring creatures. They can also be messy, dirty, stinky, and generally oblivious to neatness and orderliness. At least in my house. I have three wonderful teenage boys, who, 15 years ago, I gave birth to, all in 11 months. No, I did not plan it that way, and yes, I know how birth control works, for those of you who are wondering. And, as you can imagine, the last 15 years have been the biggest rollercoaster I have ever been on. We’ve covered a lot of ground, experiencing parenthood at it’s highest and near to the lowest moments conceivable. Having twins was a thrill. Having twins 11 months after a singleton was mindboggling. We have run the gamut of physical and mental disabilities, surgeries, broken bones, stitches, lost children, broken windows and the unspoken rules of “brotherly love” that dictate exactly who is allowed to beat up whom.
Having grown up with only one brother who in any case was never around, I find myself constantly in uncharted territory. I am continually amazed at the range of emotions and depth of passion with which they express them. And I admit that it seems to me very few seem to understand. I should’ve picked up on the not so subtle expression of my pediatrician neighbor when she joined me at the playground one day when they were two and three.
Looking them over, she said, “Are they always this active?”
“Yes,” I said, nonplussed. They were boys, I thought curious at her response. Aren’t all boys running 90 to nothing 24/7?
“Wow!” Was all she said. She laughed a little, then we parted ways. That comment stayed with me for a long time. Years later, I would appreciate a little more how my brood was different than the average batch of boys, but for the time, I remained blissfully ignorant. Eventually I would be called upon to relinquish the path that most people travel through parenthood for a different one. A path that had so many curves and obstacles my view of what lie ahead would be obscured most of the time, leaving me with the feeling that I was on the rollercoaster in the dark. Tomorrow my oldest begins high school, the twins 8th grade, and for the first time in a long time, I can actually see the track for a short distance in front of me. And that, is a very good thing.