It’s a BOY.....WAIT! WHAT?!!!
A few nights before my gender revealing ultrasound, I had a dream that I was at a doctor’s appointment for a routine check-up when all of a sudden the walls of the doctor’s office slowly began changing into the most lovely shades of blues....I honestly did dream this! I blew it off and pushed it to the back of my mind.
The weeks before finding out the sex of my baby, when someone would ask me if I had a preference as to what sex my baby was to be, my response was what any soon-to-be new parent is supposed to say.
“OH we don’t have a preference! We just want it to be happy and healthy!”
And I meant it....or so I thought I did.
When I first found out I was pregnant I did not allow my mind to wander too far ahead of what we already knew about baby. I did not want to get attached to certain ideas that might never end up happening. However, I think it is only natural to reminisce about one’s own childhood and the things, or experiences, one hopes to recreate with one’s own children. I thought of a lot of things.... like catching lightning bugs in the back yard during the summer, then letting them go free before heading to bed. Or nature walks in the woods where my mom had us find something for every color of the rainbow. Then, my mind went to the thousands of ballet classes that I took with my sister.... classical music and pink ballet tights that ended up twisted, wrinkled and bunched around my ankles by the end of class. Oh how I LOVED to dance.
So, when the ultrasound technician said cheerfully, “Well, it’s a little boy!” The first words out of my mouth were, “Really!?!.....(pregnant pause.... pun intended) Well, I guess the chances of ballet lessons are slim to none.”
Ah HA! Deep down I DID want a girl!! Or so I thought.
To be fair, I thought I was slightly better prepared to be the mother of a girl. After all, I’m a girl! I was raised with only one other sibling, a sister! I’m an aunt to a little girl! I have saved all my favorite childhood toys in near mint condition, many of those being dolls!! What do I do with a boy!?
I would also like to add that prior to knowing the gender of my little tot, my father in law used to call and ask my husband the most sexist caveman-esque question,
“How’s my GRANDSON doing?!”
He thought it was funny, but it really bothered me a lot. My inner feminist found it quite insulting. What couldn’t a granddaughter do that makes the concept of a grandson so much more desirable?! He clearly didn’t know that “We Girls Can Do Anything!” A lesson reinforced by Barbie during my childhood in the eighties (which I found totally motivating as a little girl....You're right Barbie! I CAN be an astronaut!). So I think I was beginning harbor an “I’ll show him” mentality. By golly! This baby is going to be a girl!
Thank goodness God decided that babies need to “bake” for forty weeks or so. That meant I had about twenty one weeks left to wrap my head around raising a baby boy.
It was a couple months later that my father and I were picking up an adorable wooden play kitchenette for my niece, Adelais, from IKEA . I was very excited because my sister and I LOVED our yellow three piece kitchen set growing up. We cooked up some pretty mean Fisher-Price fake food meals for hours on end!
As we were driving home, my dad looks over to me and says, “I guess you’ll have to find something else equally as exciting to play with once your little guy is Adelais’s age.” When I asked my dad what he meant by that comment I was shocked at his reply.
“Well, you’re not going to give him a kitchen to play with are you?”
GASP! Why not?! I could not understand how MY father could say such a thing!! My dad, a retired Army officer! A man who switched places with my mother to become the stay-at-home parent so she could go back to work! I cannot possibly be related to this guy!
The rest of the car trip I argued my case about child development and the importance of modeling real life. I emphasized how cooking is not only associated with one gender. I went on to remind my dad how, once he became the stay at home dad, he cooked dinner for our family almost every night and he continues to be a great cook today! Anyhow, my son will grow up watching me AND my husband cook as it is something that brings joy to our family. Therefore, I would love to have a kitchen in which Linus can get a head start practicing his make-believe meals.
My dad recanted his comment. I believe I converted his old school thoughts on gender specific toys. If nothing else, I realized by the end of all my ranting that I had come to my own personal epiphany....
Maybe there is not as much difference in the ways little boys and little girls should be raised after all.
So, how am I going to raise my little boy? The same way I would raise a little girl for the most part, with the main goal of creating a kind and patient soul that brings a positive touch to the world. What matters most is that he respects all of God’s creations: people, creatures big & small, and the earth. I also want him to know that showing sensitivity and feelings is not feminine or girly. It is human.
(Quick side story: Years before my husband and I were married, something happened that I will never forget. We were on a date, heading somewhere in the car, when out of nowhere a kamikaze squirrel darted out in front of us. Matt tried to swerve, but the the poor squirrel did not survive. The moment it happened it got very quiet in the car. Matt whispered, “I tried to miss him.” The remorse weighed so heavy on his heart and as I looked over at him I noticed the slight glistening of tears in the corners of his eyes. I knew I loved this guy! Now that, son, is manly! )
Starting now, I will try to introduce my son to as many experiences as I can in order to foster his own intrigue and curiosity; and guide him to discovering who he really is. I’m going to disregard what society deems gender appropriate for the next many years. Sure, once puberty and hormones set in (Heaven help me!) there will be some major differences to address, but I’ve got time to prepare and think on my approach for those years. The end goal, a kind soul, will always stay the same.
So, I’m so excited to raise a little boy! Once I saw Linus for the first time, I was overflowing with love for him and SO thankful God got to decide who my child would be, instead of me. I wouldn’t swap him for any little girl. I’ve also concluded that saving my porcelain Peter Rabbit tea set for my future daughter wasn’t a waste of time after all. Who knows what Linus’s interests will be? He may even ask to take a ballet class, and that would be just fine.
About the author: Sarah first met Whitney in junior high school and they were fast friends through high school and college. She majored in elementary education and worked as an individual aide to children with special needs for nine years before taking on a new job....Motherhood. She has now been navigating the adventures of being a stay at home mom for six months. Sarah lives in Greenfield, Indiana just outside of Indianapolis, with her husband, Matt, their son, Linus, and their first "child" Quincy, the mellow Bassgle hound.