9 May 2010

Mothers and Sons

I always thought that mothers favoured sons.
It seemed to me that sons were the golden boys, the boys who could do no wrong and the reason for the bright light in their mothers eyes. I was wrong and I didn’t understand this until I had my own son. Mothers and sons have a unique relationship, it is not better nor is it lesser. It is not more special or less special than the bond between mothers and daughters, it is just different. My son has just turned twenty-one. When our children reach major milestones reflecting and reminiscing is what we mothers do. I thought about my son as a baby, as a toddler, as a little chap heading off to school, as a teenager and as the young man he is today. I realised that he is the same boy today as he was twenty one years ago. He hasn’t changed and neither has the bond between mother and son. He was born with an independent spirit and has always been that way. Most children crawl before they can walk, not this boy, he stood up at the age of nine months and wandered off, he still wanders his own way.
The relationship between mother and son is a protective one. We mothers protect our boys when they are young and I think our sons become protective towards us as they grow older. We worry about their first days at kindergarten, hope that they will they manage their schoolwork and pray that they survive any bullying that might come their way at high school. With girls it seems different. My daughters couldn’t wait to start school, could sit still long enough to finish their homework and never had to face the perils of being sent to boarding school.
As my son has grown older our roles have reversed. The grunts of adolescence have been exchanged for lively conversation, genuine interest and concern for my well being. Those frustrating days when his favourite response, ‘good’, ‘fine’ and the multi purpose ‘ok’ – which really meant ‘ don’t ask me anymore’, ‘don’t mention it again’, ‘I get it’ and ‘are you ever going to stop asking me this’ – are over. I never thought I would see the day when we could have lengthy chats about all and nothing. I am less protective and more confident that he can fight his own battles and make the right decisions. I see myself asking for his opinion and valuing his answers; I can even imagine, in the not too distant future, seeking his wise counsel. The little boy who needed looking after is now the one watching out for his mother.
I think the unique nature of the mother and son relationship exists simply because of the difference between males and females. The affinity we have with our daughters happens because we are operating in familiar and well charted territory. After all, mothers are daughters and oftentimes sisters. We grow up understanding the female way and it is this instinctive knowledge that forms the basis of a mother’s relationship with her daughter. From my part I think we girls just ‘get’ each other; we intuitively recognise what makes us tick. Our relationships with the men in our lives require more awareness and greater patience to interpret what are naturally, the differences between us.
Every child born is the most precious gift and as mothers we can never favour one child over another; a mother’s love multiplies, time and time again. Yet the birth of a son is different to the birth of a daughter.
A son is not like us; he is an adventure, an untraveled journey and he is a stranger until he is not, xv.

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67 Comments

Jan

Not sure which one you'd celebrate Vicki – American or British Mother's Day ? – or other (if there is one)
Crikey it's confusing.

Happy Day to you anyway!

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Carole

Oh what a beautiful piece! I have just read this with tears in my eyes. My son is also 21 (he is my only child) and everything you said about your son, I could say exactly the same. Even to the walking at nine months! It's hard to describe (although you have managed it quite eloquently)the immense pride you feel at their independence and yet sadness that you are no longer needed. I sometimes wish he was five again so that I could hug him as much as I did then but as you say one thing is replaced by another and we now have long conversations.
Hope you have a lovely mothers day.

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Francine Gardner

Thank you for such a beautiful moment reading about mother and son relationship.
Happy mother's day to you.
I am blessed with two sons 18 and 21, and a very close, open relationship with them both. They are not embarrassed or scared to give me a hug (even in public) when I need one. They are my life, my strength.

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VictoriaArt

Vicky, happy Mother's day! What a lovely reflexion on the relation ship between mothers and sons and daughters. I so understand. My older two sons – now 23 and 20 – have become wonderful, although far away companions, great friends with whom I can discuss everything and they love me in a new and grown up way! Likewise I trust them like man and do not worry about their decisions anymore….I know they will do the right thing for themselves and their family! Different to the often impulsive ideas of teen years…
I have a teen daughter and even younger son as well and we go through the phase you've mentioned, it is hard and I suffer from a certain alienation especially to my daughter(13) but I trust it will pass in due time. Motherhood is not at all what I thought it would be when I became pregnant with my first child. It is a neverending learning expirience and I can only look back and be grateful and happy! Looking forward I am excited and
can't wait for all the new things to come!
Enjoy your day!

XOXO
Victoria

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A Gift Wrapped Life

So beautifully written Vicki and it is making me teary-eyed. As the mother of a son I couldn't have said it better. My son was the big surprise in my life, everyone thought I would have a girl, but boys are just the best friends and that was the second surprise. This one of mine never crawled either, did exactly the same, got up and started walking and running. A most wonderful post for Mothers day. Much love XO

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PK Studios

Lovely writing about your GB. I have one too but he is only four year old. The other day, after I was excited that I had sold something on my online shop, he said he had a secret to tell me. He whispered in my ear "Mommy, I'm proud of you". I couldn't believe this came out of a 4 year old! Happy Mother's Day to you…and wonderful blog.

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Mélanie A.

I love your post about mother and son and mother and children. I'm just pregnant and I'm going to have this new experience , I'm very excited about it

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Semi Expat

What a wonderful post Vicki. How I wish I had been blessed with a son too as well as my daughter but I know that I am extremely fortunate to have one child. Wishing you a lovely Mother's Day. x

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Jacqueline

Dear Vicki,
First of all, I'm sorry that I have been absent for a few posts but, I've had computer trouble.
Well, I have been very lucky to have experienced a son and a daughter and I agree wholeheartedly with you. They are neither better or worse….just different, and I feel so lucky to have had both experiences. XXXX

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Simply Mel

Vicki ~
You always explain everything so perfectly and with such thought-provoking words…your GB is a lucky man to have you as his mama (and obviously vice versa)!
Happy Mother's Day.
~Melissa

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mimi charmante

I love this post~ As a mother of four boys, I can totally relate to your own feelings about being the mother of a son.
Happy Mother's Day tomorrow my friend!
xx

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Ms Smart

Happy Mother's Day all.

My son, Miles, is my most favorite person in the world.
He is mellow, very smart, artsy, scientific, educated, cultured, well mannered, fun, stylish, good person, precise, caring, loving, dedicated, loyal, playful, refined, all-round rocking good guy.
He is currently in school to become an Optometrist.
Here's to awesome sons! :)

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alaine@éclectique

The roses are so beautiful; I picked some Camp David (deep red) yesterday and the true rose perfume hit my nose when came out for breakfast this morning.

Happy Oz Mother's Day and, of course, you have another to look forward to in June! xa

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Blue Muse

I just loved reading this, Vicki. I only have the one, so it's all I know, and he is in the middle of what I call, "teenage wasteland". It gives me hope to read that your son came back around. Thank you.

Happiest of Mother's Day to you, dear one.

xo Isa

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La Maison Fou

This is a heartwarming post. I fully understand it's meaning too. One of four; the eldest being the daughter – to my other 2 sisters and my baby brother. I could not agree more; the double standard is something that should end before another generation begins it.
Now as a mum myself I have the elder daughter and the younger son. It is a daily reminder to do the same for both and make both children strong, independant as full of love.
Well said Vicki,
Have a wondeful mums day!
L.

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Victoria

I have 3 sons and no daughters so I can't compare. The only sad part to me is a year ago my boys chose to move in with their dad, it was very devastating to me but I had to let them have that time together. I think if I'd had a daughter she'd want to be with me but I'm still close with my boys and we live close by so the visits are fun:) It is fun seeing them as young men now but I find that more and more often I spend time thinking of the baby years…how quickly they went by!
Happy Mothers Day!!!

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Debbie

Happy Mothers Day Vicki. I loved this post, it is just so true. My little chap is the light of my life. I have a girl too and she is beautiful. Our relationship with our sons is a beautiful bond that should be appreciated. Thanks for the reminder in this lovely post.

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Karyn

Vicki so beautifully written , as a mother of a 7 year old girl & a 3 year old boy , I can now see how females & males are 'different' which has given me a whole new perspective on things my husband does or says is just the male way.I was afraid of having a boy because I wouldnt know what to do with a boy but it has been easy & enjoyable to watch his natural curiosty of how things work. My son has so many lovely little attributes that I love like holding the door open for me, the way he has to bring his favourite teddy with him wherever we go , the little grins he gives me with his one dimple & his big blue eyes (which so often lets him get away with sneaky little things he does).
I hope I will always have the bond with him that you have described.
Karyn x

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A-M

Goosebumps, Vicki, what a beautiful post. I only have sons and my heart physically aches with love for them every day. I linger over our morning cuddles… and sniff them incessantly…they still smell soooo good. I can't imagine how I am going to cope with the 'grunt' stage but your post has given me an insight into all I have to look forward to. Happy Mother's Day to you too. A-M xx

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Millie

What a very special post Vicki. Mothering 5 sons has been such an interesting experience for me. They have kept me on my toes constantly & I've had develop & fine tune a strong sixth sense or I would have gone under. The boys also understand this & learnt a long time ago not to mess with Mum, she knows that things are going to occur long before they actually do, so listen up when she issues a warning! Years ago I did a course at work on Behavioural Management Techniques, it was gold. I never practised it in the workplace, but by gosh I have used it a trillion times at The House of The Raising Sons! Have the loveliest Mother's Day!
Millie ^_^

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Hands to Work, Hearts to God

I needed this today. My son is 15 and I have been having a difficulty communicating with him. It really is like he wants me to stop talking while all I am trying to do is impart life lessons! It's a comfort to know that one day we'll be able to converse I'll be confident that he's making good decisions! It's reassuring that you and other mothers of sons have passed through this! Thank you!
Patsy from
HeARTworks

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SPLENDEROSA

Happy Mother's Day, Vicki…what a brilliant and beautiful piece you've given us today. A tribute to your GB, & to you. Most of us cannot put this same feeling into words but you did it perfectly. xx's

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Kerry

How very true. As the mother of a daughter and a son who's just turned 22, I feel that it's only now that I'm beginning to really understand. And what a blessing that is. Thanks for your lovely post.

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Linda

I have two sons but wait until you have grandchildren-I have 7 grandsons. What a delight they are and I love it when they call me Mimi.

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Roses, Lace and Brocante

Happy Mothers Day from New Zealand!!
Vicki, such beautiful prose.
I was nodding my head and agreeing the whole time I was reading!
You are so right, with the girls we just all "get it".
With boys it's quite a different adventure. My darling son, 35 next month is now my protector and advisor. Tomorrow he is going to slot me in for some photography tuition. I mentioned I would like a new camera with a great zoom lens. He completely ignored that statement and said "hm let's first master the camera you've already got. Did I say I really want a Leica?! Why are they just so practical!!!
I adore them all and they know me better than I do!
My GB gave me a beautuful Pandora bracelet – he knew I always wanted one!
My DD in France only thinks of Mothers Day when it's the French one!!

Thank you for sharing.

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Raisa

You articulated your thoughts very well. I wonder how my view on this will change as I grow older and one day have sons of my own. I wonder if my experiences will affect the parent that I will be, or if I will copy my parents. Anyway, very interesting piece.

http://mysocalledfeudallife.blogspot.com/

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Josephine Tale Peddler

Eloquently and beautifully said, Vicki. I haven't been blessed with a boy so I can't comment on that. I do find with my daughter she too has come in with her own spirit and way of doing things. We are so privileged to share the journey with our children. There is no greater blessing in my life than to be a mother. Happy Mother's Day. xx
ps. I used your lingerie post for my Fab Friday favourite Blog posts. Hope you don't mind but that was such a lovely post and stayed with me.

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ilovemyhouse

What a beautiful post! I have one GB (22) and two DD's (17 and 11). I feel the same about my son.When he was 17 he changed from GB to BB (bad boy). In that period i hardly recognized him (his gentle soul) and we had some tough times together.But he turned into a GB again when he was 18, went back to university and he almost has his masters now.I would have loved him anyway, cause that's what Mothers do, but í'm glad i got him back. Happy.happy. Mother's day xx

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Velvet and Linen

You are such a beautiful writer, Vicki! I have two sons and couldn't agree with you more. Since I grew in up without any brothers, having two sons is definitely unchartered territory for me. It has been (and will continue to be, I'm sure) a wonderful adventure. My boys have added so much to my life. I am truly blessed.
Happy Mother's Day Vicki!

xo
Brooke

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Shelley Trbuhovich

oh for crying out loud, v! what a beautiful post. as a boy mama, who very much wanted boys, i am thrilled to read that the same boy your son was 20 yrs ago is the same person he is today. that gives me a great deal of hope, cause i love the little blokes i have right at this moment!! the fact that this essence will follow them into adulthood thrills me. thanks. and happy mother's day. xxx

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Acanthus and Acorn

Oh Vicki…this is so eloquently written and I can relate. Just posted a tribute to my son. They are amazing, beautiful beings…our boys.

Happy Mother's Day to you!

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trouvais

Thank you Vicki…what a treasure of a post. My boy is 18, your story echoes completely with mine. It is wonderful to watch our children flower before us. Gorgeous roses! Merci! Trish

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gina

Since I desired been a Mom, my world changed.I understand life, love and miracles and known, twelve years ago I am fascinated with my 2 young ones, my GB 12 and my DD 9, every day it is a challage for us, trying to lead them through life, feeling that there is no time enough to share emtions, realities.After all these mothers anxious there is a time that we all love, for me, GT (gelatto time)that is when we talk as friends,laugh and even cry! those moments for me …..priceless!!! H-MDays!

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Marion

Vicki
You have articulated perfectly the relationship between mother and son. I never cease to be amazed at the wonderful conversations and rapport that I have with my now grown son. I would never have believed it when he was a teenager or a young man. Truly a blessing and gift from God! Thank you for a lovely post.
Marion

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mary

Thank you for your beautiful thoughts of wisdom. Yes, sons are different from daughters-each to be treasured for their gifts. Have a wonderful Mothers day. I hope that a book with your thoughts and observations on motherhood is some where on the back burner.

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Mademoiselle Poirot

Beautiful post… and photo. My son's "only" (already?!?!?) 11, but we (mostly) get on so well and we're becoming better friends each day… Anyway, Joyeuse fête des mères. Love from London x

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joanny

Vicki

Happy Mothers Day — — love your post and what your wrote straight from your heart – so touching and tender. I have two boys but can relate. Your Roses are resplendent my dear –mine are just starting… irises and peonies are blooming now in my garden. Enjoy this day and every day,,,,,

Joanny
http://thedowsersdaughter.blogspot.com/

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the paris apartment

What a beautiful post, Vicki. Happy mother's day to you and your wonderful family! You're so very lucky and thank you for sharing your love with us!

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Cloud of Secrets

Thank you for this post. I have a sweet, grinning, chortling, squealing 10 month old boy — yet some nights I lie awake in terror, wondering how I — quite an introverted, subtle girly-girl — am going to cope with a confused, awkward, possibly smelly 13 year-old; a taciturn, rebellious 16 year-old; a 19 year-old who brings questionable girls home from college…all in the rather close quarters of our old house! It helps me to read essays like yours, especially from women (possibly girly-girls like me) who survived the very years that worry me and who have fine young men now.

Happy Mother's Day. I'm going to snuggle baby boy while he'll still let me, and put him down for his afternoon nap.

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Linda Carswell

I must admit as the mother of two fantastic daughter, I never really understood the relationship between mother and son…it always appeared as over protective to me at times…but you explained it to perfection.

Hope you had a lovely 'Mother's Day'

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DolceDreams

Happy Mothers Day Vicki…your incredible post brought tears to my eyes, thinking of my two boys and my relationship with them. I come from families of all women, so this is all new to me but I treasure it.
Thank you for your incredible gift of capturing such a special treasure, and I trust your DD's, GB, and FF were putting you on a pedestal for both the French and British celebration of our Day!
Cheers,
Nathalie

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Debi

Beautiful. I gave birth to my little boy just over a year ago. I thought I had only wanted girls but everyone said " it's different with a boy" "boys are special to there moms" I agree there is a difference…..not better not worse but different. This is beautifully put Vicki. I think I will be printing it to keep in my boys memory box, to look back on in years to come as I ponder our relationship.

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SoozNooz

I love what you have written today. You are so right. The word I would search for , with my relationship with my sons would be unique.
I love that – I have two GBs and they are both so different.
My DD even more so. It is all joy!
I hope you had a wonderful Mother's day.
x Suzi

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Bardot In Blue

Happy Mother's Day to your and your family! I really enjoyed reading this as I relate to how my relationship with my parents changes as I get older…for the better i think ;-)

xoxo Bardot in Blue

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Jenny

I have been spending a bit of time away from the computer and have missed your blog. Beautiful post Vicki, you have articulated it so well, I have one son and three daughters,and, never having had a brother, my son trasported me into the mysterious world of boys.. and now men… (in a very different way to hubby!) …the older he gets the more incredible our relationship becomes – and I love how you have mirrored my experience here. …I hope you know that you are very wise Vicki Archer :)!
Much love to you gorgeous lady and I do hope you had a wonderful Mothers Day… I am sure that you did ;)..

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alice

Vicki, this was such a lovely piece to read. I am so looking forward to all the experiences I know I will have with my now three week old GB.

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Sarah (Chez Lee)

Wow, such a beautifully written post and wonderful comments too. I have three precious daughters, but reading your post was a real eye opener to the mother and son relationship. Your son sounds like a wonderful man and I enjoyed reading the way your relationship has changed over the years and of the two way friendship you now share. I am sure your Mother's Day was very special x

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vicki

Your beautiful post is full of hope for those of us with children about to go through adolescence. I don't look forward to the grunts but as they say, the rainbow comes after the rain. Thanks for sharing!

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frenchkitty

I loved reading this – it is so beautifully written and exactly true ( well i'm only half way there) my son is 13 and he changes everyday but is still my little boy in everyway, we talk and fight and laugh and cry – though sometimes he is closer than my twin girls (who are 9) and my youngest daughter is just 3 years old so that girly relationship is coming soon.. i love them all the same and all different but all just as much.. They make my day;)

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