Thursday, January 28, 2010

On Daughters and Sons.

When I was pregnant the first time, I decided I didn't want to know our baby's sex. But, in all fairness, it was our baby, so when Darrick insisted he Had To Know, I acquiesced. See, my thought process was this: in pregnancy, 99.9% of the decisions go to the woman. Sure, I included my husband in every discussion and decision, but ultimately I was the one the midwife was looking to for the final word. And so, on this one issue, where he and I did not agree, I gave in to him. Our ultrasound was about a week before Christmas, so we had the tech keep the info to herself, and print it on a picture which she sealed in an envelope, intended to be opened on Christmas.

Every day between then and Christmas, Darrick worked on me to try to get the envelope opened sooner. He begged. He bribed. He threatened to do it when I wasn't looking. He tried to barter. I didn't cave, until Christmas Eve Day, when I agreed to let him open it so that we could tell our families via blue or pink gift on Christmas morning.

We sat on our bed together, and he handed the envelope to me. Nerves on high alert, heart thrumming, I pulled back the sealed flap. I thought I was going to be sort of sad that I didn't get my surprise, but then I realized I wouldn't be that sad after all, since we both knew without a doubt that I was growing a son.

^--- not a son

In spite of my non-girly ways and my self-doubt about my ability to raise a daughter, I fell swiftly and madly in love with being a Mom to a Girl. She was born a little pixie. She soon became that baby who attracted people everywhere we went to come linger over the infant seat and coo over her huge beautiful eyes and her doll-like features. And she's sprouted wings and become a fairy princess of toddlerhood; all long legs and long lashes and long blonde hair. Her voice is soft and sweet, her eyes are huge and green, she twirls in circles in pink tutus, and she has a love of purple boots and striped tights. She is all girl, and she is all ours.

I was a convert. And so, it seemed, was my husband. This 6'5" 285 pound man could be reduced to a puddle of mush over a smile, a laugh, a cuddle. She demanded, he obliged.

So then there I was, pregnant again, and this time I won the battle of the ultrasound and we didn't find out baby #2's sex. Except...I knew he was a boy the whole time. In part because at 13 weeks the u/s tech said, "If I had to guess I'd guess boy." (um, you did NOT have to guess, thanks), and partly because I just KNEW. I felt different. I craved different things. I grew to a differnt shape, my belly swelling out at a rapid pace, the pressure on my belly button rather than on my back as it had been with Luca. My skin was different, my demeanor was different and so I knew the little person claiming its spot in our family would be different as well.

And I was terrified.

In two short years I'd gone from the smug pregnant woman who was sure she'd only have sons and never have to deal with heaps of pink clothes and princess movies and all things girl to....a Mom of a Girl. Everything changed the day Luca was born, and suddenly the paradigm had shifted and I was at a loss as to why I ever imagined myself with sons.

And here I was, carrying what I was certain was a boy. I denied the certainty (there was not ultrasound to prove it!) as best I could, ignoring boy names and the need for boy clothes and avoiding thinking about boy issues. I imagined a brown-haired little sister for Luca, as sweet and perhaps as girly. I imagined a red head with long curls and golden eyes, the tomboy Darrick had dreamed of. I imagined another blonde female version of Darrick just like Luca had been and then I almost agreed to selling our house and moving to the middle of nowhere so we would never have to worry about dirty boys trying to date our daughters.

I could not bring myself to imagine a son as I had before finding out our first baby was to be a girl. That time, I could close my eyes and I was there: smelling his hair as a baby, his baseball glove as a child, his cologne as a man. And now, this second time around, I closed my eyes and smelled Cabbage Patch dolls and glitter lotion and perfume.

I was not opposed to the idea of a son; it wasn't that. I just...didn't know how to dream of one now that I was a Mom of a Girl. I didn't know what Son Dreams even looked like anymore, so steeped were we in frills and skirts and hair bows and baby dolls.

The day Rohan was born, all that was a long-lost memory. All those feelings of uncertainty...the fears of being peed on during diaper changes...the dread that I wouldn't feel the deep tidal wave of love for him. Gone.

In a flash - a flurry of push and lift and hold and kiss - I became a Mom of a Boy. I had a son.

^---- a son

Every mom tells you this, but you can think you know what you want, and then you'll end up with exactly what you need. Now instead of longing for dresses and maryjane shoes, I breathe in his milky sweet skin and feel all warm and fuzzy over clothes with monsters on them. I rock him even after he's asleep and could be put down because I want to spend a few more minutes admiring the perfect curve of his apple cheeks and the way his lashes curl just so. The way he puts his puppy paw hands on my face and gives me the world's biggest smile melts me into a puddle of love. I just could not imagine him not being in our lives.


Tabitha said...

What a sweet post on your birthday! :o)

Sharon said...

Your blogs always have a way of making me happy and teary-eyed all at the same time. =)

Adrian said...

That needed a Kleenex warning for me! How very, very sweet and I have a feeling I'll go back and read that a few times before March :)


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