it’s a trick question.


It’s a question without an answer.  A cocktail party question.  An inevitable conversation starter in the business I have worked in for 15 years (children’s retail.) It starts when glowing moms eagerly tell you the gender of their unborn child.  Customers’ heads turn as if called by name, and immediately conversation is sparked.  A customer may be shopping 10 feet away, but for some interesting reason (hopefully an innate humane nicety  – the one that wants to make people feel good,) opinions start flying.  People say how “sweet” boys are.  How “everyone should have at least one girl.”   It’s fun to listen.  Occasionally, I add my own two cents.

When does all this happiness go bad?  When people state which sex is “easier.” (Define “easier” by the way.)  Which is easier to grow?  Girls…or…Boys?  I cringe when people start voicing opinions on this matter, because it can get heated. I play mediator,  hoping that two people who have never met will not engage in a “knock down drag out” in the store as an expectant mother looks on in horror.  Being of sound mind most of the time, I may need to interject a voice of reason. “The answer lies in the individual child, with a bit of biology and psychology mixed in.”  – not bad, right?  We need honesty here. (and facts)  There are times when girls are easier, and times when boys are easier.

There is no answer to this question.  It’s a trick question.   That is what I am going to say from now on when the banter starts.  Then I will whisper to the expectant parent.  “Wait and see.” I will use a phrase I usually avoid, but “fits” in this instance “It’s all good.”

As far as boys go- this may be helpful.

As I picked up my 17-year-old son’s room this morning (after a bit of  “adolescent” verbal abuse I took like a lady because I remember how difficult exam week is,)  I dusted the top of a framed poem we received from a dear friend on my son’s Christening Day.  It has been perfectly placed on the wall so that leaving his room, one always catches a glimpse of it. If a parent is leaving his room and is lucky, he or she will read it, and find peace.

And so it goes:

Just a Boy…….

Got to understand the lad-

He’s not eager to be bad;

If the right he always knew,

He would be as old as you.

Were he now exceeding wise.

He’d be just your size;

When he does things that annoy

Don’t forget – he’s just a boy

Could he know and understand,

He would need no guiding hand;

But he’s young and hasn’t learned

How life’s corners must be turned.

Doesn’t know from day to day

There is more to life than play.

More to face than selfish joy.

Don’t forget – he’s just a boy

Being  just a boy he’ll do

Much you will not want him to;

He’ll be careless of his ways,

Have his disobedient days.

Willful, wild and headstrong, too

He’ll need guidance kind and true;

Things of value he’ll destroy

But reflect – he’s just a boy.

Just a boy who needs a friend,

Patient, kindly to the end

Needs a father who will show  (and a mother)

Him the things he wants to know

Take him with you when you walk,

Listen when he wants to talk,

His companionship enjoy,

Don’t forget – he’s just a boy.


Market Dining Rooms

-In the shadow of Faneuil Hall


PS- He will pay for the adolescent verbal abuse with limited electronic device usage and lack of “wheels” for “whipping” friends around.  No worries.