For Alyssa: Boys. Day 247.

I’ve talked about Kim quite a bit in my posts, my friend I’ve know since we were kindergarten-age, the one I used to sneak out of the house with. (I told you that, right?) Her sweet niece, Alyssa, is about to have a baby boy, and she asked me recently to send along any advice about having sons her way. Here are a few things I thought I should mention:

  • Let him pick out his own clothes as much as possible. It’ll amuse you and grant him a sense of confidence and self.
  • Injuries will happen. Just keep your composure until you pass him over to the nurse or doctor. (Once I had to unscrew a screw from the bottom of Max’s foot.)
  • Try not to fear how much you love him.
  • Share music, all types, not that baby stuff, but real music from every genre, and if it has bad words, teach him not to say them. If you censor, it’ll fascinate him.
  • Trust him. Always trust him. (Or at least pretend to.)
  • Don’t wait to tell him bad news. He will be more secure if he doesn’t think something’s coming.
  • Don’t allow others to compare the progress of your son as a baby, in school, in sports, or ever, to their son. Nobody is the same.
  • Whomever your boy decides to love, be nice to them. Some of my favorite people in the world are ones my boys chose. They know what they’re doing.
  • Teach him how to swim.
  • Teach him how to cook, clean, use a drill, and read a paper map.
  • Show him Sesame Street!
  • Don’t be afraid to get dirty, sticky, poopy, pukey. Also, don’t feel compelled to always keep him clean.
  • No matter how many times you put your hand up as a guard, you will get peed on, so keep your mouth closed when you change his diaper.
  • It all goes by so fast.
  • Encourage him to play an instrument, juggle, do card tricks, do crafts.
  • Let him wear pink or flowers or anything else that is socially normal for girls.
  • Frame his art.
  • Teach him how to build a fire.
  • Let him wait on you if he likes. You deserve it and he’ll love to help.
  • Weirdness is simply fine.

The more I list, the more I realize any of these would work for a girl or a boy. I wonder if that’s my advice to you, just treat him like a human, and although you may not agree with some of it, or you choose to do things differently, just love him as you will and let him be whom he is.

Oh how your life will change, and the three of you will figure it all out, especially with your auntie only a phone call away. You are going to be such a good mom. My love to you all.

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