Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Raising A Son

It’s no secret.  We are a boy family.  Even before we had our first son, we imagined that we would have three boys.  Honestly, it never crossed my mind that we would have a girl.  I love being a boy mom.  However.  For just one day, I would like to borrow a girl for the following 6 reasons:

1.  We could have a nice Christmas tree. Just speculating here, but I imagine a girl would like a bow, or a star, or maybe even an angel atop her Christmas tree.  She would never throw a pair of boxer briefs on top.

2.  For one day, I would like to be able to take a picture of a child that just smiles and looks at the camera.  Over the weekend, we took our annual Christmas picture with my nieces.  My two nieces stood where expected, smiled, and stayed in place. Meanwhile, the boys were (seemingly) throwing up gang signs, running away, and altogether making it impossible to take a picture.

3.  My hypothetical day with a little girl would not include dumping pounds of legos on the floor to find one mini figure.  No explanation required.

4.  No one in this house will watch Frozen with me.  Last year, on my birthday, the boys humored me and we all watched it together.  No singing allowed, though.  For one day, I would like to watch Frozen and sing with someone.  Maybe, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and The Beast, too.  Is that too much to ask?

5.  I need a break from Minecraft.  For just one day, I would like to not have to pretend to care about Steve, the Enderman, diamond pick axes, Stampy, and Iballistic Squid.  And, for the love of Pete, I could handle one day without creepers.

6.  No fart, poop, or butt jokes.  I suspect girls spend very little time thinking about these things, while it seems my boys spend virtually all of their time thinking about bathroom humor.  For instance, check out this list the boys made for Santa.

Having a girl around for a day would be fun.  I could check off my girly bucket list of pedicures, Disney princess movies, cleanliness, and quiet.  But.  Just for a day.  I would break out into a cold sweat if I had to be responsible for fixing girl hair or finding something smocked to dress her in.  

This post was originally featured on Jennifer’s blog, The Intentional Mom. Photo via

As hard as it is for me to believe this, I’m the mother of a teenager. In fact Tom will be entering 10th grade this September.

The years have gone so fast that I really feel as if one day I was taking pictures of him graduating from our Mommy and Me class, the next day I couldn’t believe he was in the fourth grade, and then bang, he was in high school.

Play dates at friends houses have been replaced by going out for sushi, a movie, or walking around town with his buddies. Alone. No adults watching over them.

Instead of chatting with his friends’ parents over coffee at kitchen tables, we wave to them out of car windows.

The times they are a changin’.

Whenever my family or friends ask about Tom and marvel at the fact that he is now a teenager, the subject of alcohol and drugs always seems to come up. As in, how will I handle it when he comes home drunk for the first time? Or what will I do if I find out that he had been using drugs?

I always find the questions a bit baffling because it’s just assumed that Tom will try these things. In fact the common answer I get from most of my friends and family is that of course he will.

Truth be told, I find this mindset maddening. And if I was a kid today, I would find it really confusing.

From the time Tom was in kindergarten, he has been learning in school that drinking and drugs are dangerous choices. He has read books and been shown movies about how alcohol can affect your judgment and make it easier to engage in other risky behaviors like unprotected sex or driving under the influence.

In eighth grade his health teacher made the whole class write letters addressed to themselves making the promise that they won’t smoke, drink, or have unprotected sex in high school.

Yet so many parents take it as a foregone conclusion that their kids will engage in any manner of risky behavior.

I’ve been accused of living in “La La Land” if I think otherwise. “Kids will be kids,” some say. Others will chime in with, “after all we did it.”

Really? Is this the criteria we are going to base our parenting on?

I get it. My son is growing up, and he’s going to have to make choices for himself.

I want him to spread his wings and discover who he is. And as much as some people think I’m living under a rock, I do know that he is going to make mistakes along the way.

But, I want him to know where I stand on engaging in behaviors that are at best risky and at worst illegal or life threatening.

I never want my son to say that I wasn’t clear about my feelings — so I’m writing them out here, for all to see.

Dear Tom,

The legal drinking age in this country is 21. Please know that dad and I will never allow you to have alcohol in our house or in our presence until you reach that age. Please also know that no good has ever come from a group of teenagers drinking. It’s a recipe for all kinds of disasters.

If you should choose to drink, you’ll not only be breaking the rules of our house, you’ll be breaking the law.

If you get stopped for driving under the influence, or the police get called to a party where you have been drinking, you may be in a position where we can’t protect you.

Always call me and your dad. ALWAYS. No matter what you have done.

Don’t ever follow up a bad choice with one that’s worse just because you’re afraid of disappointing us or making us angry.

Will we be happy? Of course not. But we would much rather get you and any friend that wants to come with you home safely, then get a call that you are NEVER coming home.

Let me be clear that the fact that we love you and will stand by you does not in any way mean we will stand by while you do things that you know aren’t good for you.

There will be those who will tell you that your parents are being unreasonable and totally unrealistic. Some may tell you that you are a teenager and that it’s a rite of passage to get drunk. They may even regale you with stories of their own youthful mistakes.

Listen to your own heart and trust your gut. Also know there is nothing cool about waking up in your own vomit, or having a DUI before you are 18.

Your father and I are so proud of the man you are becoming. We love you so much that we don’t care if you hate us. That’s our gift to you, we are your parents not your friends.

Always,

Mom

This post was originally featured on Kathy’s blog, My Dishwasher’s Possessed.

I remember when Quai was about four and I had to sit him down and explain that he had to start wearing underwear when he was playing outside because it was making the neighbors uncomfortable. And I remember the baffled look on his little face and the “But, WHY?!!!!” that was filled with so much anguish that you’d think I was asking him to cut off his foot and sacrifice it to the monster living under his bed.

And I distinctly remember thinking, “Huh, so this is my life now? I have to tell someone to put their penis away?” Little did I know that eight years and two more sons later, “you have to wear pants in public” would only be one of the countless crazy things I’d have to say in my own house.

1.) Put your penis away.

2.) We don’t point guns at our moms.

3.) Why is there a jock strap on the table?

4.) No, I don’t want to bite your foot.

5.) Where are your pants?

6.) Dude, put on your pants.

7.) Seriously. Where are your pants?

8.) Bees are not pets.

9.) Raccoons are not pets.

10.) Optimus Prime is my favorite Transformer too.

11.) No, you may not take apart the microwave.

12.) Why does it smell like pickles and syrup in here?

13.) Yes, you can be a dinosaur when you grow up.

14.) How many lightsabers can one person need?

15.) Where are all my tampons?

16.) Why is the closet door sticky?

17.) No daggers at the dinner table.

18.) Where are all the couch cushions?

19.) Who peed on the floor?

20.) No. Mommies don’t have penises.

This post was originally featured at Eve’s blog, That’s My Apple. Photo via