Adventures in Boy Land

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When I learned I was pregnant with my son I was less than enthusiastic about having a boy. I didn’t know the first thing about raising one and I was admittedly scared. Giving birth to him was far easier than my daughter’s delivery and when I held him for the first time my heart melted away any lingering fears.

In a matter of days though he developed colic and his piercing cries that resulted from it made me wonder at times if it was merely a prelude to the challenges that would come with raising a boy.  If there was a challenge though, nothing was going to curb his dad’s enthusiasm over having a son to carry on the family name. He couldn’t wait to teach him how to throw a ball, coach him in baseball and watch sporting events together. Sometimes they butted heads but mostly they just hung out and grew to rely on each other the way a father and son do.

His dad’s death has left a void that I can never replace but will need to fill in ways I never had to before. It’s scary. He’s on the brink of becoming a teenager and I have no doubt that’s going to usher in a new set of challenges I didn’t face with my daughter. Thank goodness my husband has raised a son of his own so I will at least have his solid support from an experienced shoulder to lean on. For now though, my son and I are learning to adapt to each other in ways we didn’t have to before. He’s getting used to having mom around and I’m getting used to running him around.

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Last week we made a mom-son trip to Sedona with my best friend from college and her son, who visited from Maryland. I took him school shopping for clothes and shoes which served as a good reminder that I have much to learn about what’s “cool” to wear at his age. In one day I took him from an orthodontist appointment to baseball practice for an hour to a doctor’s appointment to baseball training and then another doctor appointment. We got home at 6:30 that night and I was so beat I went straight to bed! This week he begins a new school. Next week I move my daughter to college. We are family full of new beginnings and new challenges and being there for my son will be my most important one yet.

I’m not just raising a boy – I’m raising a man.


  • Angie Rusch 5 years ago

    Hi Catherine,

    I saw you today in Bed Bath & Beyond, picking up all of your daughter’s items for College and wanted to go up to you & give you a *Big Hug* but this time is for you and your daughter. I’ve been through this transition 3 times myself and we still have two little ones at home. One of which may never go to college as he has special needs. From my years of experience, one of the hardest things a Mom does is drop her child off at college. Life happens so fast…
    May God Bless your daughter and you and the rest of your family throughout these life changes.
    Many Blessings,

    • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

      Oh Angie, I wish you would have said hello! I was in a bit of a fog. It was still so surreal to me that it was actually happening. We left the next morning. But seeing how happy I left her and knowing how confident and secure she is left me feeling good. I cried happy tears because I know she’s going to kill it and what she accomplishes is going to blow me away :) Life happens so fast, indeed and every moment I get to spend with my son now is more precious than ever. Thank you for thinking of me and us … and please say hello next time :) xo

  • Cecilia Moreno 5 years ago

    I had my son at the age of 17. I was a senior in high school and had no idea how I would raise a son. He was and continues to be the joy of my life. When his dad and I drove him to USC, I cried the whole way home. He has made Pasadena, CA his home. I now have a grandson that is the joy of my life.

    • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

      This is so wonderful :) I’ll be driving my daughter to USC on Wednesday and I have no idea how I’m going to get through the day or night without crying!!

  • Martha 5 years ago

    Touche! Another warm and wonderful piece on parenting. May God continue to bless you as you add “Dad” to the many hats you wear. The smiles on C’s face in recent pixs confirms that your decision to retire was perfectly timed.
    Look forward to seeing pixs and reading all about you moving B on campus!

    • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

      Yes, it’s exhausting – but I’m having the time of my life. Best decision ever! xoxo

  • Pam 5 years ago

    what a great article.. When you are having a difficult moment, take a breath and look in the mirror. Chances are The person you are having a difficult moment will be the reflection.

    • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

      Strong advice my friend! xo

  • Margaret 5 years ago

    Ive raised both, just like you, my son being the younger of the two. Raising a boy is vastly different from raising a girl, in retrospect I think even a bigger responsibility than raising a girl. Little boys learn so much from their mother things like compassion and communication and pure love. You’re raising a boy, then a young man and then a grown man who will be a good friend, boyfriend, husband, father, and mentor. You’re raising him to be the kind of man that you think about when you think about your father or best friend or husband. It’s easy spending time with the bc they love spending time with their mom. The love they have for their mom is unconditional, there is no “drama” and (plus/btw/FYI) you will always have someone who adores and loves you. Girls are ok too but boys are easy and they are a blast.

    • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

      So well said Margaret!!! You’re support means the world. It’s a brand new world but I’m having a blast :)

    • Valerie 5 years ago

      Great article! My kids lost their father to prison. I am a single mother of 3. I too find myself in that position of trying to do “manly” stuff with them. They are now a Junior and Sophmore in High School. And I also have a younger daughter. They are a blessing in my life. Everyday brings on a new challenge but also new blessings! Please continue to share your experiences!

      • Catherine Anaya 5 years ago

        Thank you Valerie! Kudos to you – it’s not easy but it sure is an adventure :) Thank you so much for reading!

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