Raising Jake

I can’t help but share what happened today in the car because you really can’t get a clear understanding of what it is like to raise a fourteen year old boy in a house full of girls unless you are right smack dab in the middle of it. I mean, even the books on raising boys don’t prepare you for all the farts, wrestling and just plain madness one  will encounter with boys in the house.

It started innocently enough. I had picked up my Alex from school and then Jake. We were headed to pick up Brooke (yes… three different schools because life is just not crazy enough) when I pulled out Alex’s spelling list.

Let’s go over your words doll. You have dance today and you will be too tired afterwards to get to them.

“Mom, I’m too tired. School just got out and I need a break.”

I was going to give up this fight way too soon cuz I got her point. I wouldn’t want to do them right now either, but Jake stepped in and saved the day;

“Oh, come on Alex. I will do them with you. Here mom, give me the list,” he offered, reaching out his hand. Seriously, this was awesome. This wasn’t Jake’s norm, so I was super excited that he was getting involved with Alex.

Wow, thanks Bud, I added handing him the sheet of words and nodding my head as if to say, Way to go! 

He started in easy enough.


It was a simple one and Alex shot right back, “B-e-e-n.”

“Good job, Alex,” Jake quipped. Seriously… and he is encouraging her. This is an epic day, my children are actually being sweet with each other! 

And then I made my big mistake. Like HUGE.

Hey, babe, can you put the word in a sentence after you say it so she can picture the word? 

He nodded his head and began again;

” Below.” and then silence.

Wait for it…

“My balls are below my stomach.”

I just stared at him. Did he really just say that? That was his sentence. That was the best he could come up with.

Alex began to laugh.

Are you serious, dude? I couldn’t help but laugh.

“What?” It’s a good sentence.” He stared blankly at me with a smile on his face, as if he was trying to figure out what was wrong with it.

Alex chimed in just in time; “B-e-l-o-w.”

“See,” he said, point to Alex in the back seat, grinning from ear to ear. “She got it right.”

I just shook my head and kept giggling to myself. Oh, Lord, I just don’t understand how boys think.


“My balls are between my legs.”

Okay, we are done. No more. You are not doing her sentences. Jake you need to be appropriate. This is a nine-year old car.

Of course Alex pipes in on cue, raising her voice over us;

“Between. B-e-t-w-e-e-n.”

“Mom, these are good sentences and they are working. She is doing great. You always say we need to help each other out more and I’m doing that.”

Now I was in a huge dilemma here, because he was right. I loved that they were having fun together. I loved that he was taking an interest in her rather than his Clash of Clans, but it was so crass and awful and just plain gross.

I just shook my head, and tried not to laugh as hard as I wanted to. 

Jake glanced down at the sheet, and then back at me, a huge smile on his face.

“Big,” he pronounced with slowly, his eyes dancing with mischief.

Oh, no. Heck no. Don’t say it. 

We all erupted in laughter. I had tears coming down my face.

No… no. Don’t say it. I’m taking over. “Mom, made a BIG mistake.. Jake is going to be in BIG trouble if he says anything.”

Oh, dear sisters, may we meet our boys right where they are.

May we join their world as we raise them up. There are so many times that we have to say no- not now- no way.

May we teach them how to be gentlemen, but may we also leave room for them to be just who they are, room for what they think is funny, room for what they think is brilliant.


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