Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at

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Boys Will Be Boys

In March and April, my then-two-year-old got a combined total of 7 stitches, and yesterday, my five-year-old got a cast.  I’m feeling like a bad mom.

People are constantly saying “Boys will be boys!”  To an extent I agree.  Boys are made to be little barbarians, little ball breakers, little heart breakers.  My brother broke his nose on the first day of kindergarten, broke his front teeth out four times during first grade, and has had over 400 stitches in his lifetime.  My mom attributes most of her white hairs to that boy.

When I had two boys, I was ready for the rough-and-tumble, for the wrestling and blood and scars.  Scars are cool.  Right?

Well, I’m their mom and not some college co-ed asking about that cute scar.  I want to protect my babies, and it’s become abundantly clear that I can’t.

I wonder what else will happen if we’ve had four ER-quality accidents so far, but limiting my boys in a way that goes against my gut isn’t a solution.  I was quiet and bookish.  While I know not all girls are like that, I also know that it was tough for my wild brother to be himself when everyone was telling him to be quiet like his sister.  Both of my boys are active explorers, and I want them to continue to be that way as grown men.

Last weekend (before cast), we looked up from cleaning the garage and found the older boy on top of the car.  He was looking for a higher point to throw his parachute soldier.  If he needed a stool to get from the ground to the bumper, how did he get from the bumper to the top?

A bubble, a padded room, a tempered spirit — those aren’t solutions.  I’ll pray and try to instill good sense in them, knowing that blood, scars, and broken bones will come.  After all, boys will be boys.  And white hair is chic.


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  1. Rachael Herrscher 08/14/2012 at 8:03 am

    I had so much guilt when my son had to get stitches in his head! I was like “his beautiful perfect head!” – I was fairly dramatic. His sister knocked a snowboard over that hit him square in the forehead and I was mad at myself for everything from not storing the snowboard better, to skipping church that day! 😀