Gideon fell asleep in my arms today. I was sitting at the computer playing music and he was dancing back and forth and the next thing I knew, he was a floppy rag doll.

I turned the music off and folded him into a tight bundle. Several minutes later I was quietly reading an article when he shifted slightly and took a deep breath. I looked down to see that he was still sound asleep, eyes closed tightly. His mouth moved as he quietly said in his sleep, “Booooof.” He was dreaming about a ball.

I’ve never been fully persuaded that boys and girls are born completely different. My girls love blue dresses almost as much as pink ones. (But they do LOVE dresses.) And Lydia especially does not mind getting herself covered in mud, for instance. (But it is DAINTY mud, and she will do it in her nicest dress.) But I do often find myself wondering what I’m going to do with a little boy that is completely obsessed with balls. I think I would personally rather relive middle school English class in a dress than have to relive any day of middle school gym class.

I’ve become so accustomed to having little girls. They are familiar and comfortable. Their moods are bizarre, but they have become predictable to me over time. I know and understand all of their complex and chaotic wants and needs. But now I have a boy and his only want and need is a ball. At any given moment that is all he needs. It is even the only word he speaks consistently. Everything is a “Boof” and if it’s not a Boof then who cares? “Let’s just move on till there is a boof, shall we?” A little boy that points out a ball the moment he walks into the room. A boy that feels most comfortable when he has a ball in his hands. A boy that can lay softly in his father’s arms on a Saturday afternoon and sleep and somewhere deep in his little mind he is in a field, running with a ball in his hands and he leaps into the air and throws.