Adam was out of town for a few days last week, so the boys and I ventured out to Target (where else?) to walk around and break up the l-o-n-g weekend.  After receiving the second "Three boys, huh?" observation of the day I took a breath and we looped around the store to the little people clothes.  We passed by rows and rows of pink shirts with words like "sweet" printed across them, and as we made our way over to the boy section, I could hardly find a single item without skulls and crossbones plastered all over it.  I was a little girl once, and I can tell you with complete certainty that my demeanor and character as a child was not at all determined by (or reflective of) the fact that I wore dresses and hair bows instead of superhero costumes and baseball caps.  I adored baby dolls and loved all things girly, but I was also rough and loud, I was mean and feisty, I fought with my sisters, I yelled, I disobeyed, I ran off babysitters, I threatened to run away.  I got older, I was disrespectful, I argued, I broke rules, I lied.  I was a mess.  Sugar and spice?  Not so much.  My mom was put through more with this girl than any mother should have to endure.

The world today leaves our young men broken and ill-prepared, choosing lust over love, wealth over worth and recreation over responsibility.  The media-made man is portrayed as lazy, ignorant, sex-driven, insensitive and incapable. 


For every stigma and stereotype society has created, there is the exception.  While I know my fair share of men that fit the description above, it is a far cry from the man I married, and no where near the direction we are working tirelessly to point our sons.  We are fighting against the current, trying to hold their hearts above water so they do not get sucked under.

As we are working to build our sons up, the world is working to tear them down. What are they to think when the constant theme from onlookers is how hard, how much of a handful, how brave (brave? really?) we must be to have 3 [gasp!] little [eyebrow raise] BOYS [insert commentary here]?

My kiddos are not perfect.  They think burping is funny, forget to pick up their toys, talk back when they shouldn't, are challenging at meal time, push each others buttons, whine (oh, how they can whine).

But they are not monsters, they are little people--MY little people.



They have ears that can hear snide remarks, minds that mull them over and hearts that are affected.

Why do I get the impression that many people think mothers of girls have hit the gender jackpot while all-boy families got the short end of the stick?  One of the hardest parts of going out in public with my three sons is not my three sons--it's the public.

It's a disheartening battle--having to defend my children simply because they wear blue instead of pink.  I am finding that many minds and opinions are already made up (and so freely spoken) before they even give my boys chance.  To add insult to injury, they expect me--their mama--to nod my head along in agreement as they make their comments.  I am sure that all-girl families receive comments as well.  I am equally saddened by the fact that so many remarks directed at little girls are appearance driven.  The emphasis on outward beauty (as defined by the world) begins so early on, planting a seed in them that can quickly become such poison as it grows.  There are impossible standards and unbearable pressure placed on young ladies today.  I know, firsthand, how these deep-rooted wounds can wreak havoc on the heart and mind, and the struggle it is to untangle and heal from the damage.  Perhaps I am more sensitive to it all because our own daughter could not be here with us, leaving people only to comment on the three children they can see instead of the one they cannot.  As the mother of three precious sons--with my only daughter in Heaven--it hurts my heart.

Nothing that Adam and I accomplish in our own lives will matter as much as the three people we've been trusted with raising.  I can count the number of truly good men I have known in my life on two hands.  I was brought up by a single mama that worked herself to the bone to provide for us, and an absent father that could not cope with his role and responsibilities of raising his three daughters.  We need more devoted husbands, present fathers, selfless providers, unconditional protectors, Godly leaders, more GOOD MEN in this world.  It is time for a change, time to break the cycle and the stigma.  It starts here in the land of dirt and Lego men, amongst the heaps of laundry, family dinners and goodnight kisses.

Noah, Mason and Emmitt,

You are good people.

You are compassionate.

You are tender.

You are kind.

You are smart.

You were made with a purpose.

 You are worthy.

You are wanted.

You are LOVED.

You are HIS.

I am blessed to be your mama and so proud to call each of you my son.

Love you,


"Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends!  Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."

-Philippians 4:1,4-8

Party of Five, Family of Six

A few weeks back while the boys and I were making a grocery run, the lady at the check out began talking to Noah about all of our boys.  "Good thing you guys don't have a sister," the lady said to him, "She'd be in trouble with all you boys." Without skipping a beat Noah replied with a quiet smile, "We have a sister.  She's in Heaven."  The lady smiled, we gathered up our things and went on our way. 

On another occasion while out to dinner one Saturday, a lady at the restaurant stood near our table studying our busy little family as we got settled in our booth.   "Is your baby a boy or a girl?" she asked, pointing to Emmitt in his carrier. "A little boy," I replied with a smile as I rocked Emmitt a bit back and forth and attempted to distract Noah and Mason while we waited for our meal to arrive.  I braced myself for more to come.  The lady looked around the table at our boys, the two older ones now playing in their ketchup. With her arms crossed she leaned over to me and whispered with a grin,


I closed my eyes for a moment, responded with a sideways smile and begin wiping off little ketchup fingers with a napkin. It was all I could do to keep the tears that were stinging at bay.

I have lost track of the number of similar conversations I have had with people since we knew Emmitt would be joining our family.  They began when he was still growing in my tummy.  Gender and size were always popular subjects.  There was the "Three boys, huh?  You've got your work cut out for you!" and the "Are you sure it's not twins?" and "Wow, you're HUGE!"  One woman even argued with me in the middle of the toothpaste aisle one day, just convinced I was having a girl by the way I was carrying Emmitt in my tummy (and even more convinced that I was MUCH further along than I was claiming).  She went as far as calling her husband over, yelling down the aisle passed a number of other customers, just to take a look and give his two cents.  It always amazes me how freely people use their words upon seeing a perfect stranger with a round, pregnant belly, or a mom just doing life with her three little boys.  You would think that we walk through public places making a scene like a three-ring circus, complete with a big bullseye permanently painted to the front of us.  I know that people don't mean any harm by their comments, but I always walk away from conversations like these so disheartened and discouraged.  It is one of those hard things I have yet to learn how to handle without it affecting the rest of my day.  Maybe it will become easier to hear as the boys get older, or maybe it will always sting. 

The most hurtful part, though, comes when people offer their condolences instead of congratulations upon seeing our all-boy family.  A parent in Noah's class is always asking me when we're going to try for a girl (expressing how badly she wanted her third little boy to be a girl, and how blatantly DISAPPOINTED she was when her son did not turn out to be a daughter).  It would just break my heart for any one of my sons to feel undesired or second best.  My boys, although rambunctious and wild at times, are wonderful little people. I have watched the responses that all-girl families elicit from onlookers and just wonder why boys are not doted upon in the same manner.  My sons' hearts are tender and just as capable of being hurt.  They are loving and kind and compassionate. Their baseball caps and fistfuls of Lego men are no indication that they are rude or rough or undeserving of accolades.  Perhaps I am overly sensitive and aware of it all.  It's hard for this mama's heart to process.  And then to have the comments come--the ones about not being able to make girls--that make me wish that people knew how very GRATEFUL we are for each one of our sons, that our new baby boy is a celebrated and welcomed gift, that it is our privilege to raise three princes, that our princes have a precious sister, and that we are a party of five, but a family of SIX.