I love my daughter! Period! I was raised in a women-dominated household with my grandmother, mom, my elder sister and me around. My dad was the only male member in the family; something he has never failed to whine about. Being the younger sibling, I shared a special bond with my sister, and later, with her two daughters as well. No wonder then that I was overjoyed when my first-born was a baby girl. Together, we made a happy bunch of giggly women.
However, I do have friends who are mothers to boys. Some of them have both, a girl and a boy. I have often heard them discuss the special bond they share with their sons, and how it is ‘different’. But I always dismissed such talk as a boast of a boy’s mommy. This was until I was pregnant for the second time. I was expecting it’ll be a girl this time around too. So, I was quite surprised when I delivered a boy (we chose not to go with the gender reveal). While all of us were certainly happy to have a new addition to our family, I was a little anxious and nervous. So far I was doing well with the woman-to-woman bonding stuff. But now I wasn’t sure how I’ll handle my boy. Will I be able to get along with him the way I do with my daughter? Will I be able to love both of them impartially?
Keeping aside such apprehensions, I just went with the flow while bringing him up. I must confess that things sure were ‘different’ with him. Of course, the fact that he was the youngest in the family did work in his favor. He was everyone’s object of affection. But it wasn’t all about how I treated him. It was how he reciprocated that made all the difference. This was something I was never ready to acknowledge initially, lest my pride as a daughter’s mother be hurt.
Yet, my son’s affection towards me remains unmatched. From the way he hugs me to the pecks he plants on my cheek every time I drop him at school, I can entirely feel how much he really loves me. There are times when he’ll simply stop playing and comes looking for me in the kitchen. All this just to check what I am up to. Sometimes, he says nothing; just wraps himself around my legs for a while and then walks away. That’s his way of saying that he misses me. I must admit (though grudgingly), by now I’d succumbed to his charming ways.
There is also an X-factor (or shall we say Y?) about boys being boys! Of course, my own daughter and my sister’s younger one are not far behind in mischief-making. At times, they too drive us over the edge. But it’s nothing compared to what my son does, singlehandedly. And when he’s in the company of other boys, there is a full-on display of ruggedness. Initially, I used to be concerned about his extreme physical activities. But now I’ve made my peace with his rough and tough side. Because this very nature of my son has also made him very protective of me. And he’s all of five!
Then, there are those occasions when my daughter and son get into childish arguments. While my daughter is all “dad”, my son goes ballistic in my support. My husband did confess once that he feels exactly the same way for our daughter the way I feel for our son. However, it’s impossible that so much love and affection should remain untouched by insecurity – of losing it.
I know for sure that one day my son will grow up into a fine man. He may also lose his heart to another woman. I know then that it’ll be time for me to move on and make room for someone else in his life. However, there are some elderly mothers I know. They vouch for the mother-son bond which has never really changed over the years. I hope the same for myself too. But until that happens, I know I still have time…
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