Parenting isn’t easy. It never has been, and it never will be. That’s not to say there aren’t wonderful moments raising children, but it is certainly a challenge every day.
I’m in the middle of raising three incredible boys. They are incredibly busy, incredibly boisterous. They are incredible jumpers, fighters, huggers. They are fast, noisy, silly, infuriating and absolutely adorable.
When this Mary Poppins prompt came up, I decided I wanted to create a word for my boys. A word that speaks to who they are. I thought about all the noises they make, silly and crude and above all, loud. I wanted to include some of that in my word. As I listened in to their noise, my eldest broke out into a chorus of “butt-butty-butt-butt,” or something very like that. Potty talk and body noises are absolutely hilarious, of course. Unfortunately, most of their noise doesn’t convert well to anything resembling an actual word.
More than just a reflection of who they are, I wanted my word to express what I want my boys to be. Something that speaks of their enthusiasm for life, their wild abandon at play and their sweet, tender hearts underneath all the noise and dirt. I wanted to create a word that conveys all the things I want my boys to be: brave, strong, kind, sensitive, caring, funny, courageous.
This word should express the art of boyhood. It should be a roar of triumph, and a quiet whisper of tenderness. And between all of that, it should be filled with silliness.
My attempt then, to sum up boyhood in to a single nonsense word came down to this, a word with all the bravado and posturing they do with each other, that contains all their smiles and giggles, and that ends with the soft sigh of a hug.
n. brə väˈhə lerˈēəm
the art of being a boy