Monday, June 20, 2005
The Unfairness Of Being A Boy
I poked my head around around my son's door, "Why are you still in bed, kiddo? You better get a move on or you'll be late for school!"

My six-year-old peered miserably at me from under the covers. "Momma? I don' feel so good."

I came over and sat on the side of his bed and felt his forehead. It was definitely hot. I looked down at him concerned. "Where do you not feel good, Bri Guy?"

"My head feels weird and my stomach hurts really bad," he said mournfully. He burst into tears. "I think I'm pregnant."

I tried not to laugh, but couldn't stop myself.

"What's so funny?" Brian asked offended. "It HURTS!"

I gave my son a hug, still smiling. "I'm sorry, baby. I know it does. But you're not pregnant. I think you just have a tummy ache and a fever."

My son wrinkled his brow at me. "How do you know I'm not pregnant?"

"Well, for one thing, only girls can get pregnant."

"That's not fair!" Brian said indignantly. "What if I want to have a baby?"

"One day you probably will. You'll fall in love with someone special and the two of you will decide you want to have a child together. " I tried to explain, "It takes both a man and a woman to make a baby. The man plants the baby seed in the woman's body. Then once the baby grows big enough, it comes outside of the mom's body to meet its family."

My son considered this carefully. "I really want to be a dad," he said finally. "I like little kids."

"I know you do." I smoothed back the hair from his forehead. "I'm going to run into the kitchen to get you some water and some medicine. I'll be right back, okay?"

After dutifully taking his Tylenol and sipping some water from a flex straw, Brian lay snuggled into his pillow while I tucked him in.

"You know what, Momma?" he said sleepily.

"What?"

"I've decided that when I get big, I'm going to donate all my toys to charity."

"Wow," I looked down at my son, surprised. "Well that's really generous of you, Brian."

He was quiet for a moment.

"Momma?"

"Hmmm?"

"What does 'donate' mean?"

I laughed. "What do you think it means?"

He thought for a moment. "To give away to somebody?"

"That's right."

We sat together in companionable silence.

"Momma?"

"Yes?"

"I'm not going to be big for a long time, am I?" Brian asked worriedly

"Nope," I kissed his nose. "Not for a very long time."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I was putting on makeup in the bathroom and, as usual, both kids were underfoot. Amber was testing out a lip gloss, and Brian was standing on the toilet watching me line my eyes.

"Momma, when will I get stomach puffs?"

"What?" I was baffled.

"Stomach puffs," he repeated, patiently. "When will I get them?"

Amber stared at her brother. "Did you say 'stomach puffs'?"

"Uhuh. You and momma have them, and I wanted to know when I'm gonna get them."

My daughter and I looked down at our stomachs and then at each other.

"Do you mean 'bellybutton' Brian?" I offered tentatively.

He looked disgusted. "No! I HAVE a bellybutton. I meant STOMACH PUFFS!"

I gave up. "I'm sorry honey, but I have no idea what you're talking about. Can you show me?"

My son reached up and patted me on the chest. "These."

Amber cracked up laughing. "Those aren't stomach puffs, silly. Those are boobs."

I shook my head, smiling. "Actually they're called breasts, Bri. And it's something that girls get when they start growing into young women."

"Another thing that's just for girls?" Brian was disgusted.

"'Fraid so."

Amber giggled.
Memories and musings shared by Juno
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I'm a 40-something writer, artist, and Jill-of-All-Trades. For me, magic is looking at the ordinary and seeing the extraordinary. My writing tends to take me to unexpected places--not so surprising when I think about it. I had an unusual growing up and have always chosen the offbeat over the "safe". I prefer interesting people over beautiful ones, and I am fascinated by people's stories. What I love most about life is its glorious imperfections and fantastic plot twists.

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