Years ago when I dreamed of being a mom I used to imagine a happy, healthy, fit and fun brood of kids. I would not only envision my own kids but also a house full of friends who always felt welcome in my home. I would dream about being the mom who didn’t just nurture her own kids but all the kids who crossed her threshold.
At 4:00 this afternoon I drove around the neighbourhood collecting kids. Tonight it is our turn to host sleepover friends for Michael and Zachary and it all kicked-off at 4:00. I decided that the best way to start the sleepover was at the local outdoor skating rink for some shinny. I solicited Max’s participation and he agreed with alacrity and brought along his two best buddies to join in on the fun.
So, at 4:00 this afternoon I had seven boys in my van. Seven loud, boisterous, healthy and fun boys. And as I drove to the skating rink I was amused, as always, to observe the interaction of the boys; the good-natured teasing, the often rough physicality and the crude humour.
As a teenager, I always loved hanging out with boys. I found them to be a breath of fresh air from the intensity of my girlfriends. I loved the way guys could cut through the bullshit and just call a spade a spade. And, I was in awe at how they handled conflict; punch each other one minute and go out for a beer together the next. No grudges, no stony silent treatments, no head games.
Having three sons means that my life is pretty much all-boys-all-the-time. The odd time we will have a girl over for a playdate but 98% of the time I am surrounded by boys.
And, truly, I love it!
After a two-hour shinny game this afternoon I watched the boys pile off the rink with rosy cheeks, smiles on their faces and with the distinctive swagger of guy-time. They had played a great game and were bursting with the rush of the competition, the physicality, and the fun. And as I watched them all tumble back into my van I felt a delicious feeling of happiness as I basked in their enormous male energy.
Two hours of shinny in the cold winter afternoon also meant that they were starving hungry so I took them all home and fed them a big spaghetti and meatballs dinner. And as I watched them stuffing much-needed sustenance into their bellies with smiles on their faces and jokes on their lips, it hit me that my dream of a brood of happy kids was at that very moment sitting around my dining room table.
I basked in the laughter, the teasing and the gusto with which they attacked their food. And as I caught Simon’s eye I know that he was feeling the same thing. Our house was full-to-bursting with love, laughter and fun. The dream is alive and it is more wonderful than I ever imagined.