|Completely secure in his manhood, practically daring you to say something about that pink crib.|
Some parents wait to find out the gender so it will be a surprise when junior or juniette pops out, but we figured it would be a "surprise" just an earlier surprise in a different doctor's office.
Truth is, a "surprise" is not always such a great thing. I wanted the news early so that the moment of birth stayed totally and completely magical. So that there was no twinge of anything approaching disappointment marring that beautiful moment of birth.
I know, I know. First time parents will always say "We don't care. Just as long as the baby is healthy." And I truly did not have strong preferences one way or another, but I felt myself starting to assume that I was having one particular gender. I summoned all my feminine and budding maternal intuition. I placed my hands on my belly and meditated. I had dreams. I really *listened* to my body. And it told me I was having a girl. I started expecting her and even being excited about her.
And I told all my friends. I told my husband.
And then my radiologist announced a congratulatory... "It's a little boy!" My husband looked at me with this at once precious and monumental news, and asked me if I was going to cry. You know, because of all the disappointment.
I was disappointed. I had pictured a girl. People tell me that new moms often picture a girl. It's the gender whose experience you relate to the most. You can picture your relationship with a girl because you were a little girl to your own mom. Maybe I even started to picture taking her to dance classes and putting those cute little bows in her hair that she would immediately angrily remove. I would be frustrated but secretly admire her pluck. Oh... the times we would have...
So, I guess in that radiologist's office I was a bit disappointed. What am I supposed to do with a boy?
But he came and his gender, for the first few years, was completely besides the point. Like a typical new mom, I was completely and utterly in love.
When I got pregnant again, I learned not to listen to my clearly faulty intuition. My husband passionately wanted a little girl though, so I suppose I absorbed some of that. Having a girl would lend some finality to our child-rearing; make our family complete. I put some effort into willing myself to have a girl. I may have even prayed on it.
I sat in my radiologist office thinking that God would be good to us, that little bean we saw on our last ultrasound would start to form girl parts, or lack of boy parts, or whatever. My radiologist patiently pointed out all healthy grown parts of my fetus, " This is your baby's kidney. It's healthy kidney. This is your babies heart. Very strong. This is your babies penis...."
What? Ok. So... huh? So, I'm having another boy. I guess it's just all odds. Roll of the dice. Probability. We have no control. No one upstairs is "listening." So, my first thought when I was told I was going to have another boy was: "There is no God."
This all makes me sound a lot more disappointed than I was. I mostly felt sorry for my husband who had his heart set on a girl. I had actually come to love the idea of boys.
When you tell friends you are pregnant with a boy, you get a lot of "Oh, that's wonderful!" And then a whispered almost conspiratorial, "You know, boys simply adore their mothers."
And I have to say it's true. I'm sure there are plenty of exceptions, but it seems that girls often have complicated and even competitive relationships with their mothers, but sons simply put their moms on some kind of an irrational pedestal They are protective and admiring and unconditionally loving to their moms. Want to touch a nerve? Tell a man a "your mama" joke.
Right now it's terrific. I'm adored from all corners of my family. My babies want nothing more in life than to snuggle with their mother and run to her to make it all better when anything goes wrong.
But I'm starting to think about the future. Soon enough, those tiny legs are going to stretch out into sinewy gangly boy legs, Adam's apples will emerge, voices will lower, hair will sprout, and I'll be surrounded by little men. By testosterone and acne and competitiveness. By people who are into things I cannot relate to, like video games and boobs. So, while they'll still be "in love" with their mama, their mama might start to feel a little estranged from their world.
At that point, I suppose I'll be lonely, even achey for some female energy in the house. I'll be outnumbered, outvoted, out-manned. There won't be anyone interested in talking at length about their budding romances. There won't be anyone not disgusted by my tampons.
But we won't be a having any more children so I suppose I need to make my peace with this uncomfortable prospect. Lots of women do.
My high school boyfriend had all brothers and his mother was overjoyed by her sons' first girlfriends who finally brought some female energy to the household. I know this because she said things like "I'm overjoyed to have some female energy in the house!"
There were a bunch of mothers of all boys in the neighborhood. You probably knew the type. They hungered for a girl to talk about things like Hollywood gossip and how piggish their sons were. They took some surrogates under their wing, maybe even took them shopping. They'd lurk around the kitchen table where the kids were gathering and try not to appear desperate in their attempts at initiating some girl talk.
So, that's going to be me, surrounded by testosterone and desperate to impart the lessons I learned as a girl entering womanhood to anyone. I'll be that aunt that my one niece can go to when she doesn't want to tell her parents something. I'll be that mom that girlfriends can confide in. I'll have that house that my sons' friends want to gather in. Because while I can't have my own girls, I can have yours. Keep your daughters close.