There is a running joke in our family–that my husband is “his mother’s son”, while his older brother is “their father’s”. Sure, they love their kids equally, but when it comes to the boys, everyone knows who mama favors. Don’t get it twisted, she has fierce love for both boys, but we alllll know that my husband is special…because he is the baby. He came completely unexpectedly, almost 6 years behind the last, and has been shaking up her world ever since.
I came in to the family like a whirlwind, immediately accepted by everyone (at least, that’s what I tell myself). I was loud, opinionated and kept my husband on his toes, so I fit right in. Like most handsome, easy-going, trustworthy men, my husband had had his heart broken on more than one occasion, and had dated more than a few crazies who were “there to stay” (ohhhh, haven’t we all??). So, like most of those same men, he had a mama bear keeping a watchful eye on those who tried to enter the den. His mother had been the only constant woman in his life, and I was about to take that title from her, and it was one I have never taken lightly. It was in those months of wedding and life planning that I made the realization of what I’d always assumed was a myth belonging only in movies and novels: I was marrying a Mama’s Boy.
Now, truth be told, I can’t attribute ALL of my husband’s minor shortcomings to being a Mama’s boy – they could also stem from youngest child syndrome, or just the simple fact that he is a man. I’m almost positive that he’s never scrubbed a toilet, and his dirty clothes pile will reach the ceiling before he decides to take matters in to his own hands. He burns spaghetti noodles, prefers anyone BUT him to make decisions, runs off to the woods to play Bear Grylls as often as possible, and can’t wait to teach our sons about big trucks and football. These are things that, although uber annoying at times, I can handle. Things I was moderately prepared for, had witnessed in our courtship, and decided I could probably live with “til death do us part”. What I wasn’t in ANY way prepared for was the way being a Mama’s Boy had shaped him…and how I now hope it will shape our sons.
My husband might not think to wash his clothes before I have a meltdown because, well, they just don’t bother him. He will, however, tackle any task commanded of him by his crazy, hormonal wife before she completely blows a gasket…because he has a mama who molded him with the same warning signs.
He might fall asleep on the couch after dinner, but it’s not because he’s REALLY avoiding washing dishes, it is because he has worked hard all day providing for his family…because he had a mama to teach him about the importance of setting a good example and working hard for your family.
He loves music AND sports, and can quote any movie from Star Wars to Pretty in Pink…because he had a mama to teach him to explore everything he was interested in, no matter the stereotype of others.
He was the football star who took his show choir team to Nationals at Walt Disney World, and that well-rounded personality is everything I adore about him…because he had a mama who knew that one day, the right girl would come along to appreciate it all.
The fierce love that she has for her sons, she has instilled in them. A love that – as a mom of two boys myself now – I used to find so intrusive in our marriage, I can appreciate as the most sacred kind of love. A Mother’s Love.
At times, some things might drive me insane. On the other 360 days of the year? They’re things I pray he passes on to our sons. I can kiss boo boos and help mend broken hearts like only a mama can, but there is so much more to parenting than that–although sometimes I wish it were that easy. I hope that he will teach them to be their own persons, to chase their dreams, to love God and their families, to honor their wives and to be a role model for their children. Things that, as a mama, come natural for ME to instill in my children, but things I can’t example alone. These are attributes that I need help infusing in to the little minds and hearts that I am now helping to mold, from the only other person they will look to for full disclosure and guidance. Virtues and characteristics that I myself could never know how to teach from a male’s perspective, and never would know…if I hadn’t married a boy who’s mama had already helped pave the way.
Don’t marry a man unless…you would be proud to have a son just like him.