When I was pregnant with my younger son, I knew, I just knew, he was going to be a girl. I didn’t have morning sickness; I had night sickness; I carried him differently, and other indicators and old wives’ tales all said “girl.” When I had my first ultrasound and saw that no, indeed my second child, and probably my last, was in fact a boy, I got a little misty. My husband told me to basically get over it, and didn’t allow me to be sad for the daughter I would never have.
Now–let me be very clear: we are not the type of people who wanted “man” children to carry on family name, honor, or business, nor are we “let’s have a girl and dress her up” types, but I really just saw myself with girls, probably because I grew up in a family of all sisters. Girls are not some different, prissy species – we tumbled and played just like puppies, had our scrapes, fights, laughter and loyalty just like all siblings.
I am not regretful about my reaction over the genders of my children–it was just a reaction. But now, I can’t imagine being a mother to anyone but my sons, though. Sons are different from girls in some general ways. They usuallyaren’t as dramatic, or emotional, so you might miss their fierce pride and loyalty in your achievements. They aren’t as jealous or judgmental of mothers either, but only because they’re not reflecting on their future selves in your role (see the post about mothers and daughters –that’s a whole other basket of laundry–just as it’s different between fathers and sons.)
When I don’t think they’re noticing, or care, or just basically indifferent to my comings and goings, dealings and drama, my sons usually are right there, with the right word, and righteous indignation on my behalf. My dad told me years ago (he himself a son among three boys), that boys don’t like to see their moms cry, and to try to use that sparingly. Considering what a rascal my dad was when he was growing up, I took those words to heart.
Along with my husband, I am showing my sons are women are to be respected and treated. But they give me the gift of showing me, every day, that boys are men in the making, and can really be amazing humans. And, if anyone settles for the boorish, chauvinistic, misogynistic type, well, sister, that’s your problem.
As I wind up my Month-of-May Mothers series, I’m going to end it with the mothers whom I respect the most – moms of veterans.
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