That’s Because He is a Guy by Sharon O’Donnell

On June 22nd, I am having my middle son’s girlfriend’s family over for a cook-out. Even though they are rising juniors in college and have dated since they were sophomores in high school, this will be the first time we have all gotten together. Over the past few years, things got so busy, my husband and I have had very little time for a social life, and her family has been busy too. We finally found a spot on the calendar where we were all available on the same day: her parents, her sister and fiance, her brother and girlfriend, and of course the girlfriend and my family.

My middle son was matter-of-fact about all the family members finally meeting. That’s what I’ve come to expect with guys. But his girlfriend texted me saying she was excited about it and even made a smiley face beside it. I NEVER get smiley face texts from my guys; their expressiveness is usually more low-key. So I loved getting this text from her, and I was envious of those moms who have girls who get such texts on a routine basis. Now I know that some boys might use the smiley faces, but not mine. All their texts are very factually and to the point.

I also remember one time I was telling my oldest son about something that had upset me at work when a co-worker had been rude to me. He kind of shrugged his shoulders and said I shouldn’t worry about it, that it was the other person’s fault. I felt as if he downplayed something that had been very important to me. Then when I told my middle son’s girlfriend the same story, she responded with shock and couldn’t believe how rude the person had been. Ah, that was what I had wanted. Some empathy. I mentioned my older son’s reaction to the girlfriend, and she replied — as the sister to 4 brothers — “That’s because he is a guy.” And in those few words she described 90% of my life. It’s so refreshing when there is some more estrogen in the house.

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