Boys, Boys, Boys

Four pregnancies. Four babies. Four BOYS. My mind is still trying to wrap around the reality that we Westfalls are clearly boy-making machines and that our home will be filled with testosterone for years to come.

The funny thing is that for the first time in all my pregnancies, I had really convinced myself that this little nugget was a girl. So much about this pregnancy has been different, and let’s face it: After three boys, I thought SURELY the odds would be pointed more in the female direction. But no…the only pointy thing was our little bun-in-the-oven’s anatomy.

In the last few weeks since we found out about our precious boy, I’ve had to do some processing. I had been planning an eclectic, girl-centered nursery where I could unpack my old dolls and hang a dainty chandelier from the ceiling. I’d been eyeing all those frilly summer sundresses and dreaming of painting finger nails. And for whatever reason, I’d convinced myself that having a girl meant balancing out the high-energy home we have now. (I know in reality that raising girls is no easier than boys and no guarantee of a slower pace of life, but I had convinced myself it would be the case for me.)

Photo credit: Laura Pennington

Photo credit: Laura Pennington

The last few weeks have been a process of me mentally packing up the baby girl nursery with all its dainty features. I’ve had to let go of a few dreams, which have resulted in a few sore and tear-filled moments. But as I have begun to wrap my mind around what life with three boys running around might look like, God’s been giving me a new vision.

I recently read Dr. Kevin Lehman’s book, What a Difference a Mom Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Mom Leaves on Her Son’s Life. The book explains how a mother is uniquely positioned to influence her son, his views on life and relationships, and his future. I want to write more about this book in a future post, but for now, let me just say that it has given me a renewed energy and joy at the thought of raising boys. (Seriously fellow moms of little men…check out the book!)

boys with flowers

Now instead of tea parties and hair bows, I’m envisioning boys who will one day be much taller, hairier, and hopefully more mature versions of themselves.   I dream of young men who go off to college, knowing how to do laundry, are respectful to the differences in people, and who have generous hearts that love God deeply. I picture men who are strong in spirit and character, but sensitive to the people around them.

So today, when I watch them play Legos or pretend to be warrior knights, I realize that the training ground is now. Their journey toward the men they will become has already begun! So I pray desperately that my boys learn to be strong in spirit, that they will be willing to stand up for virtue even when they’re the only ones. I pray that their strength will not overshadow their compassion and that their hearts will be sensitive toward the needs around them. And toward this end, I fight the necessary battles, stand firm in my “no,” explain the preciousness of others, and give them permission to cry when yet another family fish dies.

boys with legosYes, I collapse in exhaustion at the end of most days. Yes, my home is filled with “brother hugs” that generally end in wrestling and laughter that erupts at EVERY. SINGLE. TOOT. But I’ve been given a picture of my sons’ futures that goes far beyond a cute nursery or a little lace, and my heart is full. I’m embracing all things boy and counting down the days until we get to meet the latest Westfall boy. Let the games begin!

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