You Say 'Mama's Boy' Like It's a Bad Thing

April Peveteaux
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mama's boy
That's My Boy!
I honestly hadn't given a huge amount of thought to the term "mama's boy." That is, until I had one. If my memory of movies from the 1980s serves me correctly, to be called a mama's boy was pretty much the worst insult one could hurl at a young man. You're a sissy, not a man. You can't take the "pressure" of full contact sports/having to say "Bloody Mary" in the mirror three times/fifth grade. But most definitely, your sexuality will come into question. Which, again in the 1980s, was another insult at the top of the bully arsenal.

Perhaps it was because jocks made me gag, but the insult always felt hollow. And now, I'm proud to say, I've got my own two-year-old of a mama's boy, and I don't care who knows it. Or what connotation they try to attach to my super duper wuper sweetie.

My daughter was always independent, basically since birth. So the few times she cried specifically for me, I knew something was seriously wrong. The fact of the matter that she cried just as often for her dad, or probably more if I were being totally honest with my ego, simply solidified my belief in equally-shared parenting. Her dad was just as much of a presence as her mother, and seen as a caregiver. Bravo! My hard work in raising a girl was done.

Then along came her baby brother, and wow, is he ever a boy who needs his mother. When no one else understands why he's crying, mama does. When he just needs a hug, I'm the go-to pair of arms. In the middle of the night? It's mama, all night long. My husband says sometimes he looks at me like he's in love with me, and I'm in love right back. Because I know his intense attachment to me a) won't last forever, and b) has nothing to do with his ability to throw a curve ball or whom he decides to sleep with at some point. And even if it did, honestly, who cares?

Boys won't even walk down the street with their moms once they hit about fourteen, so I'm taking advantage of these enthusiastic hugs, and his demands on me to be the first soother at the scene. It rules. And my heart will break the day that he inevitably turns to dad and asks him to do something macho like, I don't know, go tip a cow.

Do you have a mama's boy?

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