Any parent is lucky just to have a child. Whether you have 1 child or 10 children; whether you have boys or girls, raising a child is one of the great privileges, pleasures, and challenges of life.

As a mother, I love having daughters. We bond over things like Oprah. I recently spent several hours over the course of a few days watching discs from the 20th Anniversary DVD collection with my daughters–we laughed, we cried, we ooooh…ed, we aww….ed. We bonded. (Say what you will about Oprah herself, be you a hater or a lover, her shows have generated some of the best conversations with my kids. I may have to write a separate post about that sometime soon.)

I also love having daughters because we talk about clothes and guys and we go see “girl” movies, and we understand each other on a different level. We have a disdain for meaty meals and prefer our veggies, fruits, and carbs. And we appreciate the importance of chocolate and coffee. While we don’t always see eye-to-eye on everything or feel the same way about issues, we do understand the thought processes that bring each of us to our own conclusions about whatever topic is on the table. I love having daughters because I can relate to the way they view and approach life and I empathize with many of their concerns and frustrations.

As a mother, I love having a son for almost opposite reasons. I often do not understand in the least the thought process that brings my son to a certain conclusion; however, I LOVE that I am baffled. It is intriguing and interesting to try to figure out where he is coming from so that I can understand how he got to where he was going and I can reach the same conclusion in my own way.

I love that he is often less direct about what’s he’s thinking and feeling, because I know that means that I have to work a bit to figure it out, which usually pays off in his appreciation for me “getting” what he doesn’t necessarily want to say.

I love that we bond over our mutual fascination with each others’ differing viewpoints rather than sharing a common perspective, although we do share common views on many things, too. He is both an enigma and a source of comfort and joy.

I have equal but different relationships with my kids and that extends to equal but different relationships between genders. While I gain insight and reinforcement and validation from my daughters, I gain perspective and new understanding and enlightenment from my son. I experience delight, wonder, and amazement all around, regardless of gender, birth order, or age.

I hope my son knows that he adds a much-valued undercurrent of intrigue to my life every day, as do my daughters, but in a different way. When it’s just me and my kids, of course, my son is outnumbered. However, when my daughters are off at college, then I am the one that is outnumbered. And my husband and son take full advantage of that fact, which is reflected mostly on the TV screen.

There are days when I just sit back and marvel at the 3 wonderful people that my husband and I have brought into this world. This is one of those days. Let’s hear it for the boys, and girls, and all they bring into the lives of the boys and girls that have grown up into parents.

Lucky me.