I loved having little ones. Babies. Toddlers. Preschoolers. I was good at it. I was good at planning their meals, at picking out their clothes, building train tracks, filling their weekend with play dates, stroller walks, children's theater, story time, and hugs.
But here is the thing... they got, bigger. They became children, boys. Boys who love baseball, soccer, basketball, Star Wars, video games, rough housing, snowboarding, camping, and... being BOYS.
You don't know me, but I am not a tomboy. Not in any way, shape or form. Never was. I was always afraid of getting hurt (and for good reason, heck I broke my ankle jogging), with zero hand-eye coordination I never enjoyed team sports or video games. I get cold easily, hate bugs and despise pit toilets, thus camping, and skiing are out of the question. You see where I am going with this?
The things my boys love the most, the activities that my children seem the most drawn to, are things that do NOT come naturally to me. At. All. Of course I married an all-American suburban boy. A guy who grew up playing baseball, mowing lawns, getting dirty... you know, being a boy. And thus he shares the love of all of these activities with his sons, as he should.
Now before you all get up in my face about gender stereotypes, I get it. I get that there are girls who love baseball, who love wrestling, and being really, really loud. I understand that there are boys who like to quietly color, play house and enjoy musicals... they just are not my boys. Nope. And that is okay. But unfortunately, I feel that I am left on the sidelines of my family. While Zachary rattles off baseball statistics, and Evan begs his dad to play xbox, I feel like I don't belong, and that I don't have a lot of "fun" to offer my kids. I begin to see my role as quietly picking up dirty socks off the floor and scolding the boys for not doing their chores. I see their father signing them up for all the various sports activities and booking our summer out with Rockie's tickets. And the kids love it. They love it.
Well meaning friends tell me that I should dig in and learn to love what they love. I try. Sometimes. I take them to practices, go to the Rockies games and sit with them while they watch Star Wars. I got on a bike for the first time in 20 years so I could ride with them, even though I was desperately afraid of a horrific bike accident that would leave me in a full body cast. But, at the end of the day, I am still me. And I miss when it came easily. When I could happily take my toddler to Music Together and sing and dance with my little baby.
I know. I could try harder. I could. I should. I need to. And nobody said this parenting thing was going to be easy. I just thought, that it would all come a bit more naturally. I expected to have children more like me. Children who would want to spontaneously dance to pop music in the kitchen, or organize neat, pretty bedrooms. I thought that my kids might like what I like, and well, they just don't. They are people with their own personalities and interest, and I am the adult, and it's me who needs to adjust, or get.... left out.