Photo: Noelle Kirchner

We have hunkered down over spring break due to the coronavirus, which has meant lots of family movie watching. One of the first flicks we were sure to catch was the last in the Star Wars series, The Rise of Skywalker. It brought me back to this article that I penned four years ago and still holds true. I added a new point to the list as well. Moms of boys, I hope this makes you smile…

My boys, ages four and six, watched the Star Wars trilogy for the first time this winter. They couldn’t wait to reenact the scenes. They became proud owners of matching lightsabers, courtesy of their grandparents.

The sabers glow red and make a sound upon impact. One afternoon after jostling, my older son ran to me in amazement. Apparently, they had just fought with their eyes closed and their lightsabers still met. He proudly announced that they now knew the ways of the Force.

While I knew they needed an outlet for their energy, especially when it was too cold to go outside, I worried the sabers would miss their intended target and leave a welt on someone’s cheek. As I laid down the respective ground rules before their next jostle, like keeping their eyes OPEN, my older son said proudly, “Mommy, you don’t have to worry. We have training.” And there was no doubt in his mind that this was the case.

This experience, among many, has matriculated in the following list. Moms of little boys know the adventure of raising them is often one with distinct markings. Along the path of wanting to raise gentlemen, I’ve had to be an observer of a world that’s very different from my own. I balance every day the desire to mold them and let go, being respectful of their boyishness. Here is what I’ve learned while maneuvering their dynamic, yet endearing world:

1. What’s cool has nothing to do with conversation or pampering—it’s watching Star Wars and memorizing every line.

2. Sword fighting requires no rules or training, at least in the way that you view training. Yoda, can you help here please?

3. Boys often bond through sports and wrestling. Sometimes they remind you of puppies. In a cute way.

4. Hugs and playful punches express equal endearment.

5. The only drama they know is playing until someone gets hurt.

6. Their pockets are always full—of something. Sometimes you’d prefer not to know. But you’d better find out BEFORE doing the wash.

7. Stones really do look prettier after the wash though.

8. Boys need a special place to stash their treasures. These treasures might include: a rock, stick, dead bug, baseball card, or money. All have equivalent value despite your assessment.

9. What’s gross is often either interesting or funny or both.

10. It’s not their stuff unless they can mess with it. And mess with it means tie ropes to it, punch holes in it, dunk it in water to “experiment” with it, launch it, etc…

11. They prefer to be on the move…to anywhere and at anytime.

12. Still, going shopping requires motivation, unless you’re buying food or sporting equipment.

13. Speaking of food, when you cook a meal they enjoy, they really do feel your love (and this doesn’t change as they get older).

14. A favorite shirt isn’t truly a favorite unless you have to pry it off of their bodies to wash it. The word dirty isn’t in their vocabulary and certainly doesn’t apply to anything beloved.

15. Sometimes when they hold you, they make little gestures they only do with you, and you remember them as your baby. Those are the best moments of your day.

This post originally appeared on Mamapedia.