‘Raising Boys’ offers a humorous look into a mother’s life

By A Contributor

On days when her boys charged through the hardware store, brandishing a pitchfork and screaming like crazed ninjas, or used black markers to create their favorite Beatles hairstyle, Rachel Balducci wished she possessed the magic wand of motherhood to reverse her situation, that is, to have had five girls and maybe, just maybe, one boy.

But, in reality, Balducci and her husband shared many happy moments raising five rampageous (and at times, annoying) boys: baby Henry, Augie, Ethan, Elliott and Charlie.

You will laugh, sigh, grimace and shout (and maybe shed a few tears) when you follow day-by-day and night rituals of a humorist mom and her pack of wild cowboys and ‘indians in her book, “Raising Boys is a Full-Contact Sport.”

Ahh, come on now, mom, surely it can’t be that bad! Remember who was it that remarked, “There are no bad boys?” Balducci begs to differ on occasion, in her own amusing way, of course.

Mothers throughout the land will gain much inspiration and chin-up from Balducci as she reveals in one section labeled, “Why do they stare at us?”

No matter where Balducci once took her boys, there were gaping mouths and prying eyes. When Elliott or brother Ethan took off in the grocery store, poor mom finally tracked them down.

One stood in a shallow refrigerator unit, while the other attempted to squeeze him in then put the lid down.

Any wise mother would have yelled: “STOP RIGHT THERE!” And, Balducci, being a wise mom herself, did just that…. which brought about more quizzing gazes and ‘tsks-tsks” from strangers, from mothers, who seemed to forget what life was like for her and her brood of seven pouting sisters and one sweet little boy.

Talk of fatigue, frustration and deal-making with God, Balducci had yet to experience something more rude and redundant: people would ask her, “Well, when are you going to have a girl?” It wasn’t that she did not like girls, and, oh, did these nosey folks think that her husband had nothing to do with that at all? Gee, people, do you think she had a choice in knowing for sure if and when that adorable little girl will come to the rescue?

  Thank goodness Balducci’s boys had grown up strong (and temperamental), with a sense of humor.

Thank goodness for their understanding of settling a disagreement by ganging up on brother, punching him in the stomach, then suddenly all is forgiven and the five wrestle like their idols, those World Wrestling champs they imitate in front of the TV.

  What mother could stifle a laugh concerning an inquiry from Elliott, “When are you going to have more children?” When Balducci asked him, “Why?,” the smart boy-child replied, “So I’d have another little fella to beat up.”

  And so it goes…But there is good news: the five boys finally got their wish—a little sister to beat up.

  Even if you are not married and do not have children, or might wonder if children could be in the picture, “Raising Boys” serves as wonderful entertainment.

Balducci immediately got me involved with her role.

I laughed…a lot, I chuckled over the way mom got her boys to “hit the target” when they peed, and even accepted the times when they missed the toilet.

One son was so pleased as he told mom, “Thanks for putting in the leaf.” His aim was right on target.

  If you are tired, in need of a different kind of break, go ahead and pick up a copy at the library, bookstore or even in some grocery stores.

You will automatically realize that you have made a good choice when you notice Balducci’s website printed in the book. After you do, then you can relax and follow her on

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