I had a Hembree boy.
You may not understand the significance of this statement unless you know that Hembree is my married name and know my husband’s family, but I will try to fill you in.
My husband is the oldest of three boys. Three very rough and tumble boys. Boys who were raised in day care, spent weekends at grandparent houses, had toy guns and swords, rough played and wrestled, and got spankings. Three boys who all had braces and speech and did boy scouts and love football. Three boyish boys.
I am the oldest of three children, but I have one sister and one brother. We were raised as stay at home kids with a mom who worked the night shift in labor and delivery and a dad who worked the day shift at his own company. We weren’t raised around extended family but we were very close as an immediate family. We were not allowed to have guns or swords or be rough and if you talked to us we listened but if we were really in trouble we went to time out. We never had braces or speech and the big activities at our house were soccer and musicals.
And then I married a Hembree boy. And I guess I knew these things about his childhood but I didn’t really THINK about them, because I had such set ideas about the type of parent I was going to be. I was going to be a stay at home mom, so really my son would be mostly influenced by me and his childhood would be gentle and sweet and comparable to mine, right? Right?
And then I had a Hembree boy. And I am a stay at home mom and he is sweet (most of the time) but he also likes to pretend that his fingers are guns and that forks are swords and “get the mean guys.” He goes to time outs or his room if he’s in trouble but it is starting to take more sternness. He had to have teeth removed at 20 months due to enamel deficiency so braces are a guarantee and it has been confirmed through a speech screening that we need to start speech now, at age 3.
As a parent you always want to do what’s best for your child and that takes a lot of reflecting on your own childhood. I think my parents were amazing and had fully intended to parent like them. The thing is? My husband thinks his childhood was amazing, too.
And so I keep trying to parent my son the way I was parented, the way I want to gently raise him. But I think it’s time to add the variable of “Hembree boy” into my calculations and continue to be prepared for the unexpected.
My sweet, silly, and unpredictable Hembree boy on Wacky Wednesday at preschool this week.