It's been fun for me to look back at my journal from my last pregnancy, all of the feelings I was experiencing, the many unknowns I was about to step into. And it's especially fun to reflect on how I feel about those same things now. One of the things that felt so very scary to me last time was that of having a baby boy, as opposed to a girl. I felt like I didn't have a clue about boys then. And I don't know that I am all that much wiser now, but I can tell you that I wouldn't trade Ben in for anything in the world. I do wonder what it will be like to be a mom to two boys, so different than how I had once envisioned my life, to be honest. But I know that time will tell and thus far I have absolutely LOVED being a mom to one adventurous, tender, and adorable little boy.
As I read through my old journal, I stumbled across a little piece I wrote, but for some reason never posted in the blog. It's entitled, Approaching Boyville. I found it quite humorous to read now, now that I've been living in Boyville for over a year. And so I thought I would post it now:
With a mere 4 weeks left until D Day, the announcement playing in my head goes something like this, “You are now approaching Boyville. We’re expecting a bit of turbulance and what might be a rough landing, so please fasten your seatbelts and attempt to enjoy the ride.” Yup, we’re almost there and I am feeling a myriad of emotions as I peer out the window and spot the first signs of Boyville. For starters, there’s a heck of a lot of blue out there and more animals and trucks and furry little red guys than I’m used to. I’m filled with anticipation, nervousness, excitement, and sheer wonder as to what it will be like once we enter Boyville. While I feel like I’m not a total stranger to Boyville, having made several visits in the distant past, they were rather short and not entireably pleasurable. Most of what I know about Boyville, I learned when I visited Manland about 4 years ago, where I met a smart, sexy resident named Tom. I fell so hard for him that I decided to move with him to Marriagetown, which in fact draws a lot its cultural influences from both Manland and Womanland. The language, the foods, the leisure activities, the interior style all reflect characteristics of both places. Though it does seem that the general style of interior décor is growing to be more heavily influenced by Womanland. I digress.
Anyway, both my experiences in Manland and Marriagetown have shed some light on what Boyville is really like, because Tom grew up in Boyville. Yet, as we approach this land, I still feel like a total foreigner and that feels scary, really scary. How will I know how to act in Boyville? After all, I grew up in Girlville and with 2 sisters, I spent ALL my time growing up in Girlville. It’s what’s familiar to me. Boyville might as well be Mars to me. But I’ve been reading in my Lonely Planet Guide to Boyville and it’s provided me with some tips that seem like they’ll prove useful for my survival, err time, in Boyville. For example, under extra things to pack, it instructed me to bring some extra burp clothes and diapers to use when changing a diaper in Boyville, so as to avoid being doused by a 'spontaneous yellow fountain.' I also read that it would be helpful to pack along some extra bandaids and neosporin. Oh and they said to drink a lot of coffee and caffeine, as the littlest residents of Boyville tend to have an abundance of energy and may be challenging to keep up with.
In reading about the language of Boyville, I discovered that it’s the same as in Girlville, but there’s a different dialect and particular words which are used more often than in the region of Girlville where I grew up. I’ve been trying to memorize some of those words and their meanings including, “Thomas the Train, trucks, build, destroy, dirt, fart, burp, wrestle, etc…” While I recognize that there are plenty of residents of Girlville who are familiar with and use those words as well, I am noting that I don’t happen to be one of them. I also read that residents of Boyville (and Manland) tend to be more direct in their language. I even heard there is an oral exam upon entry to the country, apparently it's to ensure your ability to communicate in Boyville. You have to relay an entire story in 20 words or less, which will be quite the challenge for this verbose female! I was however, delighted to read about some of the popular activities in Boyville, ones that I too, happen to be familiar with and love, including playing outside, hiking, camping, exploring, and playing sports. These are not activities that are exclusive to Boyville, but not enjoyed by all girls in Girlville either. Yet, they are acitivities that I love and while I don’t yet know if my boy will love them too, if he does, I can assure you that they are things that will allow me to feel a little more at home in this otherwise foreign land.
All this to say, it’s one thing to read a book about a place or to hear about other peoples’ experiences, but it’s an entirely different thing to actually visit and experience a place for oneself. And every experience is unique, this I know. So, as I make my way ever closer to Boyville, I am putting on my brave face (and arms and legs and…) and I am trying to approach it with an open mind and heart, with humility, a sense of humor, as a learner of the culture and the people, especially the one little guy with whom I’ll be spending the majority of my time while I’m there. Whatever vocabulary he uses and whichever leisure activities he decides he likes, I’m looking forward to engaging in those with him and I have a feeling that he will have a great deal to teach me as well.