Monday, November 22, 2010

No Sugar and Spice, But Life Is Still Nice

I am a mother of three boys.  When you add a husband and male dog into the mix, I am clearly a woman swimming in a sea of testosterone.  I am a girly girl living in a guys’ world.  I’m a dress-wearing, hair-curling, pink-loving kind of gal.  I love to shop and decorate and make crafts. I adore antique furniture and vintage hats and gloves.  I collect teacups and bits and pieces of sterling silver.  I have not one but four sets of china.  I am just about as girly as it gets.

I love my boys with all of my heart and when I found out my third baby was going to be a boy, I tried not to let it bother me.  I already had two boys whom I adore and knew that my third boy would be just as amazing as the first two, yet deep down inside I felt a strange pain clawing its way up to the surface.  Several days later, it hit me that I was not having a little girl and my world was tipped off of its axis.  How could this be?  How could I not have a daughter?  Who would I pass all of my girly antiques on to one day when I was old and gray?  I would never have a daughter to go shopping with or go to lunch with.  I would never go prom dress shopping or have “the talk” with my little girl.  I would never stand next to my daughter in the delivery room just like my mom did with me all three times.  I would never have all of the experiences I have had with my mom and grandmother.  As these facts became clear to me, I became depressed and guilty.  I was depressed that I would be missing out on the mother-daughter relationship I had always dreamed about.  I felt guilty for being disappointed that the beautiful, wonderful, healthy baby in my belly was a boy.

I struggled and cried in secret.  I was ashamed of my feelings.  And then after a few days of really looking into myself, I came to the realization that it was and is ok to feel that way.  There is nothing wrong for having wanted a daughter and in the end I allowed myself to mourn the relationship I will never have.  I gave myself time to grieve and reflect on my feelings and past expectation.  After a few weeks, I came out on the other end feeling so much better and ready to parent my three boys in a way that will make them wonderful husbands to someone else’s daughters.  I realized that having three healthy, happy, and wonderful sons is my path in life.  I was put on this earth to teach my boys how to treat a woman right and how to live their lives with respect and dignity.  And lucky for my boys and me, I have a wonderful husband who consistently sets just such an example for them.

The other day, my mom spent the day tending to and laying in bed with my sick grandmother.  They talked about jewelery and clothes and what was on QVC.  Sometimes they laid in silence, both lost in their memories.  My mom told me it was something just a mother and daughter could do together.  While I was happy that my mom and grandmother shared that time together, the statement instantly hit me in the heart.  I cannot deny my disappointment that I will not get to experience these same moments with my own daughter.  I don’t think that it is something I will ever get over.  But I would never, ever trade my beautiful boys and all of the amazing moments we share now and will share in the future for anything.


DisneyBabies said...

My mother-in-law has 3 boys.. and now, she has 3 daughters-in-law to share and gossip with.. I know it's not quite the same, but I took her to help me plan wedding stuff (my mom was in FL and she was near me), and tried to include her.
Hopefully you'll have that one day, too. In a long, long time because your boys are REALLY little.

Janine said...

I only have one child (yet), but when I found out I was having a boy, I found myself mourning a bit. It was a very unexpected emotion. I'd been picturing baby boys and girls both while envisioning my new baby, so when it became real that he was a boy, I lost half of that, and it made me SAD for a little while. The gender-specific child in your head is a fantasy - There's no shame in it, and it's no negative reflection of the child you actually have. :)