“It’s a boy,” said the ultrasound tech. I had already noticed that small object positioned in just the right spot on the ultrasound screen and had silently concluded this in my head but I was waiting to hear her say the words. I smiled and my husband, in true form, immediately said, “Think of all the money we are going to save.” Leave it to this man I love to bring both comical and logical humor into this moment.
I feel guilty now reflecting on this because for just a moment after she uttered those words, I felt a twinge of disappointment. Now before you start judging, I know the old cliché about just taking happy and healthy and that is all I want for my son, just like any mom. I love and will always love my boys very much. However, if I get really honest with myself, a small piece of me had to let go of a few dreams I had in my head at that moment.
Braids and tutus are not in the cards for me. I will not have a young version of myself to take shopping who can keep me up on the latest fashions. I will never get to experience the turmoil and growth that is having a teenage daughter. There will be no tear wiping when her heart gets broken and confiding in her the cold hard truth – that boys are idiots. The friendship that comes after those teenage years pass will not happen. I will not get to help my daughter plan her wedding, pick out a dress, and watch her daddy walk her down the aisle. I will not get to hold her hand and walk beside her on the journey that is motherhood. There will be no phone calls that her kids have lost their minds and that I must come immediately. The simple fact of the matter is, I will not be a girl mom and I believe it’s okay to mourn that for a minute.
I have now reached a place of acceptance. I will not be a girl mom, but I will be a kick butt boy mom. I will play tractors and trucks if that’s what they want. I will love every minute of wild and sticky they throw my way. I will learn what every part of an engine does (don’t hold me to that). I will wash a lot of sweaty, dirty clothes. I will spend my afternoons at the baseball field sporting the obligatory mascot t-shirt. I will swell with pride at any baseball game, wrestling match, soccer tournament, or football game. I will be their biggest fan. I will cuss at how much food it takes to feed two growing boys and my adult husband. I will cringe when they fight over who has to have me on their team for tackle football. I will cry when they take a wife and pray that she will understand what it means to me to “give them away”. I will hope to gain the daughters I never had. I will pick out tuxes, teach them how to buy a corsoche, and to open the door for their date. I will go to deer camp if necessary. I will try not only to understand fantasy football, but enjoy it. I will hop on a four-wheeler and spend the afternoon mudding. I will make sure they know what it means to be a gentleman. I will watch them become the fathers I always hoped they would be. I will call them on Sunday’s just to make sure they are doing okay. I will never stop trying to find interest in their interests. I will soak up every minute of the way boys love their moms with an unmatched ferocity and I will love it.
And just as I would have with my daughter – I will make them watch Gilmore Girls and read “Anne of Green Gables” and show them what strong female role models look like. I will do everything in my power to raise these little boys into strong, honest, hardworking men. I want them to know when to stand tall but not be afraid to cry when the moment warrants it. I will teach them kindness and compassion, responsibility and loyalty. They will know what it means to show their emotions and support their future partners and families. I want nothing more than for them to love and be loved.
The truth is what I want for them really isn’t all that different from what I would have wanted for a daughter. The clothes just aren’t quite as cute.