12.08.2008

take this pink ribbon off my eyes


I have a friend who has had the tragic experience of losing a baby at birth in addition to several miscarriages, some very far along in her pregnancy. Upon discussing her experiences, she commented on a relative who cried upon learning the gender of her own baby would be otherwise than her desires. My friend, so very confused, couldn't understand.

I love the perspective she shared and secretly remembered that I truly, truly wished for a boy during my second pregnancy. And felt some shame for how excited I was to find out I got my wish that day in the ultrasound room. Although it might have been wrong of me to have that secret wish, this time around I don't have as strong of a desire for one gender or the other, which surprised me. I've been pretty open over the years about my wish for four boys, as crazy as I hear they are through and through at every age. But I think about it differently now-a-days. I don't wish for a specific gender anymore.

This time around the peaceful feeling of hope for a healthy baby outweighs the gender game in my head. Also, the fear I have for being enough isn't there this time like it was last time. I know the Lord will bless me with the energy and patience I need to be able to care for my family no matter how overwhelming it may seem at times.

That being said, I will admit that if it's a girl, I might feel a little nervous. I have thought about those feelings a lot this week and realized raising a girl feels as though it comes with a whole lot more in the expectations department. Potential expectations of her, I imagine. Which could be entirely wrong, but boys just seem like they would be who they become, yes, derived from what their mother teaches them at home. However, they do draw a lot of experiences from their father as they will one day be a man, too, just like him.

I fear as a mother, as the female role model, I might fall short in the areas that are important for girls to learn from. What if she comes home pissed off one day that she is the only girl who didn't learn piano or quilting from her mother? Or cooking or singing or some other typical girl skill her mom just never had interest in. I can see it now, a teenage break-down right before she slams her bedroom door: DRUMMING and sarcasm?! That's all you've got for me?! Thanks a LOT mom. That's really going to win them over.

Because isn't that what's important to girls- winning them over? Being the most pretty and popular? Knowing how to fix your hair and pull together an outfit and be on the cutting edge of fashion? And what if I have a girl that has interest in all these things and I have to keep sending her to other people in the family/ friend circle to learn them? I'm not very good about being the kind of girl our society and culture tells us we are supposed to be. And while I appreciate that's who I am and have grown comfortable and brave finding myself in that different path of interest that strays from the mold at times, I don't know that it's something a daughter would appreciate.

Or she could turn out to be a tom boy like I was, after all, she would have two brothers follow. But if she doesn't, I want her to be who she wants to be and follow her interests and what if they are all things I suck at?

Overthinking this for a moment? Yes. But it sure feels good to get to the root of my feelings and understand what I am nervous about so I understand myself a little better.
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