Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mama's Boys

Okay, ya'll. As a special Monday treat, I'm fixin' to make some sweeping generalizations. You ready? Okay, LET'S DO THIS.

As I think most of you know, I have a little girl.
Cute, right?

WRONG! She's the most adorable eff-ing thing in the world. She's cuter than 400 baby elephants, 150 baby otters, 60 baby pygmy hippos and 11 baby sloths rolled into one super species that has been selected only for its cuteness genes. I mean, come on:

It's stupid how adorable and hilarious and cuddly she is. And she loves her Mama, certainly, which is gratifying.

But yesterday I was at my friend Claudia's house and made a very important realization:

Little boys--and in fact, boys in general--love their Mamas with more extravagant abandon than girls do. Claudia has a couple of my favorite kids in town: a smart, lovely six-year-old girl and a sweet, hilarious four-year-old boy, who at one point during my visit came over to Claudia as we were talking, gently took her head in both his chubby little hands and plucked a piece of glitter off her chin. When I commented on the tenderness with which he provided this little service, Claudia said, "Yeah, that's the difference between boys and girls. Anna would never do that."

And I started thinking about other friends who have little boys, and it seems pretty consistent: the little boys I know are just really passionate about their moms. And I don't think that changes a whole lot as they grow up.

Case in point:
I adore my mother. I do! I'm not just saying that because she reads this blog. My mom is really funny and cool and smart and we love each other to pieces, truly. I respect and am eternally grateful to her for the way she raised my sister and me, and for what a good friend she is to us as adults. That said, my mom is not beyond reproach. For instance, Ma can be a complete airhead and also can not be relied upon to complete very necessary paperwork in a timely manner and her lifelong preoccupation with horses might be classified by some experts as mildly psychotic. I'm not afraid to tell you all of this because she is my Mom and she is human, and I would tell this stuff to her face if she were here right now (in fact, I think I might just tell her when she comes to visit tomorrow.)

Now, let's compare my feelings for my mother to those Bryan feels toward his. Let it be said, Bryan totally won the parent lottery. Both his parents are unbelievably helpful, caring, supportive, generous and kind. They're the kind of people who volunteer every week at the women's shelter. Despite the fact that they don't know you, if you got cancer, they would take excellent care of your kids for an entire month while you were in the hospital, no questions asked. (No, I'm serious--I've seen them do it. No, I'm not going to give you their phone number.)

So, there aren't a lot of situations in which you would want to rib Bryan's mom; but she, like my own mother, is human. But don't tell Bryan. Ooooooooooooooh no. There is to be no blaspheming of Gail Nuse in our house. If I really want to get on his nerves, I can say something like, "So, has it ever occurred to you that your mom might not be a legitimate speech-language pathologist, but may actually be running a human trafficking ring specializing in selling disabled children to creeps and perverts?" And that's basically all it takes to get my 31-year-old husband to throw a rock at my head and call me a retarded homo who was probably adopted.

Anyway, I'm not here to goof on my husband and his excellent mother. I'm not even here to understand this phenomenon, because the real reasons behind it have got to be like 400,000 times more complicated than Freud's load of horse crap, and so I'm not even going to attempt a guess. Because I have like zero credentials: I am a woman who is raising a little girl, who was raised mainly by women and my only sibling is a sister.

I mean, I think it's really sweet and everything, but what's with boys and their moms? I really want to know.

Please discuss.

PS. Have you noticed I've been writing about boys a lot this month?
Well, they really
are a mystery, you know....


  1. my nephew Jesse is the biggest mama's boy i've ever seen or heard about, ever.
    that being said, neither my brother nor Hank have the worshipful relationship with their moms that you describe. even though ever since i can remember my mom had this piece of old music framed that was called "a boy's best friend is his mother"
    so yeah, generalizations ...

  2. Yeah, I agree, some boys do cartwheels at the mention of mom, but not all.

  3. I've re-read this post every couple of days the past two weeks in an attempt to figure out how to relate my mother/son relationship in terms of your underlying question. When people who know me well but have not met my mother ask me to explain her, all I can really say is "imagine my energy level, kookiness, desire to have everyone involved, obsession with planning, loud voice, and general musical personality...and turn it to 11." See, my mother "gets" me, in a way that few (if any) people do. It feels like we were cut from the same cloth. I try to emulate my father in a lot of ways because of the strong counter-balance his personality brings to that of my mother's and my tendencies, but that's just it - my default setting is the Ferrasci genetic code. My father and I enjoy a wonderful relationship that has evolved and broadened as I have grown and matured. My mother still loves me with the ferocity she must have had since the day I was born, and often still sees me as the cute little 4-year old that would help her shop for shoes. It's an innate connection.

    But more to the point - why have you been writing about boys so much?!?

  4. You know, I am going to come out and say it. Nonsense. Girls make more eye contact with their mothers (scientific studies will back me on this one) than boys, and girls are just more in tune with what's going on socially. Why would boys be more attentive than girls?

    That said, I have no kids, and the only intimate experience I have with the younger set is one, with a very dear and cuddly little boy and two, with a sister and brother - and the brother is way more cuddly than the girl. He is also younger, which fits with the sibling age roles.

    Does this mean I should start wishing for a boy to come on the storks beak rather than a girl.

    I am not pregnant, just to clarify.

    Finally, I have never heard Brian F-O talk with such poetic candor than the above statement.

    Do I contradict myself?