According to Google, this is a commonly searched for phrase. And if anyone understands why, I do.
Boys fight. They just do.
I have had countless discussions with mothers of “mixed gender” families (meaning they have both boys and girls in their family) over the years about this. Many of them have expressed to me that girls fight, too. They say that their girls fight with their brothers just like their boys fight. Well, honestly, (and obviously) I couldn’t tell you about brother/sister interaction since our children are all boys. But I am convinced that the fighting is of a different nature.
Boys are testosterone-filled machines. They are made to destroy things, to chop things down, to shoot stuff, pound stuff, see how much power they have over stuff, smash stuff, and ultimately to FIGHT. They have a need to see who around them they can wrestle down. Who they can defeat. Whose fort can they destroy.
And when those boys all live under the same roof with no sisters in the mix to soften things up a bit, it is all brute, all day long.
I can hear some moms snickering when they read the words “sisters in the mix to soften things up a bit”, because I have seen their girls, and I know they know how to play rough and shoot a gun and all those things.
But there IS a difference. It’s inherent. Innate.
Girls are wired with femininity that boys simply do NOT possess. Some girls may be more dainty or more rowdy, and either way, their presence in a room full of boys is the same.
Boys are wired with masculinity that girls (even if they’re rowdy girls) do NOT possess. The affect that even one or two girls has on a group of boys is amazing. Boys will suddenly become aware of something, even at younger ages. There is a lady in the room. A damsel. She is to be regarded as such and may or may not wish to be wrestled down, pummeled, punched, smashed or shot at. And even if she does think those activities are fun, a boy is hesitant to be so rough with or around her. The affect she has on the room, even if a mother doesn’t say a word in effort to protect her, is that the girl softens the masculinity, even if just a bit.
But once she leaves the room? The game is back on.
If you don’t believe me, just come on over and watch.
I’m not saying girls don’t fight. And I’m not saying sisters don’t fight with sisters. I have two sisters and we did fight some.
But I never threatened to kill one of them. I never tackled one of them and punched them until they saw stars. Neither one of them ever tried to strangle me or chase me down to throw a baseball or a soccer ball at my face, or to kick me in the crotch.
I’ve seen brothers fight. And that’s how they do it.
If you’ve read this blog for very long at all, you’ve read about how these boys’ fighting wears me out. And that is why.
It’s the level of intensity associated with having boy on top of boy on top of boy on top of boy on top of boy…….
There’s no, “hey, watch out for Sister!” or any offering of femininity to add to the room (besides mine and that’s a different topic).
It’s just all boy. All brute.
My point? Fighting among all boys, especially all brothers, is of a different nature. It’s intense. (Ever seen The Lord of the Flies?)
Some days, the boys are too busy to fight. We have things to do, places to go, they’re content and get along.
But some days, I cry out to God asking who He thinks I am to be able to handle this amount of men under one roof, at THIS level of intensity. I admit that before we found out the gender of our eighth baby, I truly did not believe I could handle another boy in the mix. Beyond my desire to raise a young lady for the Lord, to train her and even get “girly” time with her, I just couldn’t see how I could handle one more boy’s worth of testosterone around here.
And somehow, the day of the sonogram, I just knew.
I was to handle ANOTHER boy’s worth of testosterone around here.
Somehow, God saw that I was/am capable of mothering a bunch of little men.
Soft, flowery, butterfly mama, I wish to be. And most days, I feel like drill sergeant, staunch, military mama to a troop of unruly soldiers.
And in the deep recesses of my heart, I could hear, “Embrace it.”
“Embrace who I’ve created you to be. Embrace all that comes with it. It’s hard and messy work, but I’ve had this planned for a long time for your life.”
And the eighth boy….oh how I can’t wait to see him, cuddle him and kiss him.
I’ll enjoy his babyhood as I have with each boy. Because it does last a while….the phase in which they haven’t figured out yet just HOW to manifest their innate masculinity.
The time comes soon enough when they do figure it out. And they join the ranks, too.
In the meantime, to manage the boys’ fighting, I do two things:
- Remember that they’re BOYS.
- Try to train them not to act like they are actors in a Lord of the Flies scene.