Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Memory

In looking back over some old Christmas notes to friends, I came upon this glimpse into life with boys as it was almost a decade ago. The boys were then 4,5, and 6. Here is one of my favorite Christmas memories:

Christmas 1999
As you know, I am the mother of three young sons, and I take my parental role very seriously. I have read many books about boys, how to help them become promising young men, how not to damage them unduly, how to prevent them from creating a homemade atomic weapon and blowing up the neighborhood, etc...
I was pondering the idea of hardwiring today and considering that while some mothers' experience sons like Thoreau who, while tiny, lisped sweetly, "I am trying to look through the stars to see if I can see God behind them."
I have sons who say things like yesterday's gem:
"Hey, if we melted down this silver baby Jesus nativity scene, we could make a bunch of bullets."
Surely there must be a reason for my sons to emerge from the womb screaming for blood and glory, and refusing all toys except projectiles. Bereft of toy guns by me, their idealistic mother, they deftly mastered the art of shaping their toast into the shape of a realistic looking guns and pointing them at me and saying "Bang!" by mere toddlerhood.
I feel I am swimming against a raging stream of testosterone- and losing the battle.
Yesterday, I noticed my lovely and realistic 500,001 piece Bethlehem village looked... odd. Looking closely, I discovered someone had carefully placed 100 or so small, plastic soldiers complete with full battle gear at strategic locations throughout the village. Especially daunting was the prone soldier holding Mary at bay with what appeared to be an AK-47.
Kind of authentic really.
Only last night did realize how very little control do I hold over these testosterone laden young mammals. We were doing the traditional kids get to make candy activity with peanut butter balls and chocolate. The boys were busily crafting small spheres of sweetened peanut butter and Christmas music was playing softly in the background.
All was a Christmas postcard.
I heard some smothered giggles and emerged from the kitchen just in time to see my middle son, Benjamin, in the act of chocolate-covering the most perfectly rendered set of male genitalia. Replete in its perfection... he had indeed created peanut butter balls.
Wish me lots of luck with these guys, please. I will need it.
Merry Christmas Everyone!