I've had a ton of supportive comments about our gender news.  I am sorry to admit that I had formed a definite desire for a girl accompanied by a "feeling" that the baby is a girl.  My ongoing nausea was the only even pseudo-scientific reason for my feeling.  For my desire, I have no excuse. 

I have heard that one should never say "I was hoping for a boy" or a girl, because it might get back to the child someday.  Along with comments about "Your real mommy," again, I can't imagine who would say "Your parents were hoping for a girl."  Who says that? 

Anyway, I sensed that lots of women like the idea of having girls, buying cute pink clothes, yadda yadda.  Among some women who have already had boys, the hunger for a girl is noticeable.  Of course that's my impression, and I wanted a girl, so that's what I would see.  My many comments and emails from boy-moms yesterday were really enthusiastic and from them I had no complaints.

The reasons why I wanted a girl aren't that great, which is why my "wanting" a girl or boy isn't a wanting I value very much – compared to, say, wanting a CHILD when it looks like you won't get one.  Unless you're from some culture where boys are everything and girls don't matter, and if so, you probably don't read this blog.

Why I wanted a girl: fear.  Of the diseases and issues I know about, autism and schizophrenia are way up there on my fear scale, and we are at risk for those due to my husband's age.  How much risk?  Nobody really knows.  I had fastened on those two because they occur in boys more than girls, so voila!  Have a girl, I sez, and less to worry about. 

Those of you who already have children are making that clucking sound with your tongues (I can hear you) and rightly so.  There are so many diseases and scary problems, who can say what will or will not assail my family?  Better to just let it go because it's a total unknown.  Not to mention completely out of my control.

Why I wanted a girl: familiarity.  Since I am a girl, maybe I would know and understand my girl child better than a boy.  Again with the clucking; I know.  Gender probably doesn't give us any kind of leg up on understanding our children.  Personality trumps everything, even how we express our girl- or boy-ness.  The way that my girl children are girly ( or not girly ) is their own, and it may not line up with my own ways of being feminine.  This is a definite gulf between me and my own mother – she wasn't ever very girly and so I wasn't raised to be either.  As an adult I've had to figure out that my degree of girliness is different.  Even now my mom sometimes rolls her eyes at my pink phone, my vulnerability, my acceptance of some gender roles that give me more room to feel feminine.  Feminine is individual.

It could be a huge advantage for me, this loss of the familiar/feminine, because I think of boys as something other, and should I not think of my child as something other?  All children are, aren't they?  Each child a brand new person, a new sum of known parts that will be someone unknown.  

It seems like a good idea that I should be able to understand my child, and I hear mothers say that they "get" some of their kids more easily than others.  But isn't it my job to learn my child in all his uniqueness, to drink him in like a lover, not expecting that I should know the answers to him ahead of time?  I have seen this advantage in adoptive parents.  They don't have nearly the expectation that the child will be like them, and so they see clearly who their child is, today, and I admire that.

Not that any of that is easy, or even possible.  I wouldn't know.

For the rest of it, I'll be fine with a boy, I think.  I'm pretty sportsy, in both the playing and the watching.  I'm pretty comfortable with boy toys that are about buildings, cars, robots and warfare.  I also have a husband who has done a lot of work on himself in the area of responsible manhood, which contributes to his excellence as a husband.  So I think in the areas of integrity, respect for women, work, and faith, my son will have the best role model I could find.

In the meantime if I want to enjoy cute pink clothes I'll just have to wear them myself.

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