|"A haunted house, AHH! There's a ghost and a vampire. I'm out of here."|
When I got pregnant with Child 1, I wanted a girl. Really badly. I wanted to tie her hair in pigtails and put cute little pink dresses on her. I knew nothing about boys, how do you clean a penis, anyway? I wanted a mini-me; a miniature version of myself that I could play with and have fun with and turn into an awesome adult eventually, no doubt!
When we found out he was a boy, I was disappointed, but I wasn't devastated. I knew we were going to have another one and that I would have another chance. No big deal.
Then when I got pregnant with Child 2, I really really really wanted a girl. I had spent Child 1's baby and toddlerhood watching as the girls his age did everything FIRST. They walked at 9 months, they fucking talked at 12 months. Poor little baby Child 1, who didn't start crawling until 11 months, would sit there in his playgroups while little baby girls would come crawling by, steal his toys, and then crawl away. I wanted a girl, dammit; this one is going to be a girl!
At the ultrasound I was convinced it would be a girl. I was so convinced, in fact, that when the technician cheerfully announced "it's a boy!" I said "WHAT? That can't be right. Really?" But, no. There was the little penis, she could see it clear as day.
I was crushed. I remember sitting in High Tech Burrito afterwards, crying; to Hubs' utter confusion. I knew you weren't supposed to have a preference, especially in Berkeley where people pop the babies out and are so joyful to see them that they don't even look at the nether regions until later. No, you're supposed to just be happy that you have a healthy baby, who cares what the sex is?
I cared. I cared what the sex was, and I wanted a goddamned girl, goddammit! It took me weeks to stop being sad about it, but I also refused to feel guilty. Yes, I was happy my baby was healthy, but I still had a gender preference and so I allowed myself to mourn the loss of the girl I'd always wanted so that I could be over it in time for the birth. And eventually I did, and when he was born I was just happy to have a healthy baby. And besides, I knew how to clean a penis by that time; how the hell do you clean a vagina, anyway?
Tonight I was out for a walk and the streets of Berkeley were filled with 8th graders who were graduating from Middle School. I watched these girls walking around with these teeny little mini dresses and these high heels and all this makeup and I thought.... "man I'm glad I have boys."
I see the girls at the boys' school, and they're into the latest fashions, while I'm totally clueless (are Birkenstocks still in fashion?) They wear heels and have cell phones and carry purses and I think... "man I'm glad I have boys."
I read stories about teenage girls becoming total bitches when they hit the age of 12, about their parents worrying about them getting pregnant, about teenage girls being the worst people on the entire planet (I actually remember that) and I think... "man I'm glad I have boys."
And so, Child 2, my sweet boy, my actual mini-me, despite the penis: I'm sorry I cried when I found out you were a boy. I'm sorry it took me weeks to mourn your gender and the fact that you had the wrong parts. You are the sweetest, funniest, greatest kid I could ever ask for and I'm so glad you're a boy. I'm so glad you are you, because knowing what I know now, if I could go back and change things, I wouldn't want anything at all to have been any different. If you were a girl, you wouldn't be who you are, and who you are is exactly perfectly perfect.
And MAN am I glad I have boys!