Written by guest author Katie Hayes, Boy Mom, Homeschooling Mom and Public Relations Specialist
I remember very distinctly the day that we found out our firstborn was going to be a boy. It was the most terrifying day of my life to date. As soon as we learned we were having a boy, we raced down to meet my family for dinner to share the news. After dinner, we sat down to eat dessert and my nephew proceeded to climb up onto the table to lick blackberry cobbler out of his bowl with his tongue. Blackberries and ice cream dripped everywhere and completely covered his face and hair. I remember sitting there a bit shell-shocked wondering why in the world God thought I could handle one of these aliens.
What was God thinking? I don’t like being messy. I can’t handle things like finger paint (nope), play doh (nasty), or slime (gag)! How in the world can I raise boys? Over the years, I’ve prayed that God would use these dirty boys to show me how I can grow and be a better person. And boy, has He answered. He’s quietly calmed my heart through some interesting seasons and lovingly reminded me that there are lessons to learn from these little dirtbags. Here’s just a few that we’ve learned lately from our testosterone-laden house.
- The Importance of Well-Timed Affection Oh man, kids are smart. Recently, my oldest son was getting into some serious trouble with me, and my youngest walked up to me and quietly kissed my arm and said, “I love you, Mama.” Right in the middle of my outburst of fury, he was quietly whispering his love. I was completely undone. How powerful! That one tiny action diffused the whole situation and brought me right back to planet Earth. Couldn’t we all learn from that lesson?
- Let That Anger Out One thing you need to know about boys is that if they punch each other in the face, it’s actually a sign of affection. My boys can go from zero to code red in a nanosecond. I am continually amazed at how fast my boys can go from a hug to throwing punches. One thing that I’ve learned from watching them is that sometimes letting all that anger out of your body is a really good thing. As adults, we tend to keep our anger inside and let it fester for way too long. My boys can go to blows and then a few minutes later they have moved on… totally over the situation. Obviously, adults can’t throw punches around like candy, but we can follow this example to see the benefits of not bottling up our anger.
- A Little Dirt Never Hurt I dare you to find something dirtier than a little boy. (spoiler alert: you won’t find it.) I wish I had a dollar for every time I wondered out loud, “What is all over your face?” I would be a rich, rich woman. God has showed me that we all have dirt. The important thing is what we do with our “dirt.” If we can use our dirt to glorify God and tell of His faithfulness through life’s messy situations, what a game changer! I think the reason God walks through messy situations with us is so we are less afraid to go to messy places with others.
- Life Is Hilarious It just is. We laugh more every day with our boys than I ever thought was possible. They have taught me to take life way less seriously. And yes, the majority of guffaws at our house revolve around potty humor. Please act surprised.
- Get Loud If you have spent any amount of time with young boys, you know that they are not quiet little church mice. My sons like to scream, yell, growl, roar, sing, laugh, and wail. As an introvert, this is a hard part of life for me to come to terms with. Sometimes life as a Christian requires us to be loud about important things. My boys are loud because they literally cannot hold it in sometimes. I think when it comes to the things of God, adults should be the same way! Speak up! I look at my boys and they give me so much courage. Lord, show us when to be loud for Your important things!
- It All Starts Small One tiny thing can lead to millions. It all starts with one lego. Then somehow overnight, you have millions of legos. Everywhere. Our journey with Christ is the same way. Tiny sins that seem like no big deal can snowball into something major while you’re busy and distracted raising kids. And yes, I’m relating sin to legos… have you ever stepped on one in the night? EXACTLY.
- Meet My Best Friends, Clorox and Oxy Really, though. Why in the world did we not buy stock in Clorox and Oxy the very moment we heard we were having boys? Also, power washers get dirt out of baseball pants. You’re welcome.
- Move On, Already The wonderful thing about kids is that they don’t dwell on the bad days or mistakes. Sometimes as parents, this frustrates us to no end because we want our children to really stew over a mistake to “learn a hard lesson.” My boys move on so quickly that it sometimes gives me whiplash. It amazes me that things done against each other don’t last forever or hurt their relationships.
- Life Is a Playground To a boy, literally everything (or everyone) is a playground. Furniture, cars, people, kitchen counters, literally everything. This mindset has helped me look at the world as a playground. Sometimes, everyday life can be fun if you just shift your perspective. Life is an adventure to boys. What a sweet way to see the world around us, through the eyes of our boys.
- Stay Hungry Boys are always, always hungry. I’m convinced my cause of death will one day be because someone asked me for “a little snack” and I died on the spot. What if we were as hungry for God’s Word as boys are for chicken nuggets? I pray that God gives me a hunger for His word to rival my kids’ physical hunger.
As moms of boys, we live on a constant tightrope. We waver between embracing and encouraging the natural masculinity of a boy while seeking to bring out the sweet heart hidden inside. It doesn’t matter if your house is full of testosterone or sweet pink bows, our command as parents is to teach them how to love and serve the Lord is the same! Thankfully, we serve a good God who promises to be with us every (crazy) step of the way.
Katie and her husband Tom have been attending Stonebriar Community Church since 2006. They have two energetic boys, Hudson and Jude. Katie has a degree in Communications and Public Relations and has worked in many various industries including government, non-profit, ministry and corporate. Her days are kept very busy homeschooling their oldest son, Hudson. Tom and Katie are often found traveling the globe together and love to see God’s work among the nations.