He Wasn’t Supposed to Be A Boy

When I found out I was having a boy, I burst into tears. I opened the envelope that was in my purse all day, and read the words, “I’m a boy”.  I had an instantaneous, uncontrollable response.  I sobbed as though someone had died. It was deep and visceral, and I know it was ugly.  And in retrospect, it was horrible.  And totally wrong.

Before that day, I just knew I was having a girl.  At least I thought.  A few weeks in, the ultrasound tech actually asked if I wanted her educated guess on what I was having.  She told me that all signs point to a girl, and if she was a gambling lady, she’d put it all on female.  There was some vague scientific evidence to back that up, but I honestly didn’t hear a word after that.  I was already day-dreaming of her frilly pink nursery, her little tights and dresses, baking cookies, making scrapbooks, and all the fun pearl-wearing tea parties we’d have.

Fast forward to my 20th week appointment.  My husband wasn’t able to make it to the ultrasound that day, and this was the THE DAY – the one where we were told the gender. And no, I’m not one of those maniacs who “wanted to be surprised” because there are actually way too many surprises in life, and I’d like to get some sense of how I would be spending a huge portion of the next 18 plus years.  And that was being a mommy to a little girl; it was the only thing that made sense.

I read the word BOY and in an instant, all my mother daughter spa-day dreams were slashed before they even began.  I was doomed to a decade or two of baseball games, stinky socks, zero gossip, and one-word answers.

Moms are not supposed to cry about the gender of their children.  They’re supposed to say, “Oh, I don’t care as long as they’re healthy.”  I don’t believe anyone doesn’t care. That’s just the first thing we say to look like selfless mothers. It’s the first transition into traditional motherhood – pretending like we have zero desires of our own and are put on the Earth to raise babies.

But I wasn’t a mom quite yet.  I was carrying him around and growing him in my womb so I was still allowed to be selfish at that moment.  My husband told me to feel my feelings, get it out, and then move on.  Quickly.

In a last ditch effort, at my next appointment, I told the tech I didn’t believe her and needed to see for myself.  And yes, I saw his little baby penis floating around right up there on the screen with my own two eyes.  But by that point, it didn’t matter.  There was my baby boy, floating around in there. I was a boy mom.  There was literally nothing I could do to change this – nature makes the choice for us, we get what we get.  And now, two years later, I wouldn’t change him if I could.  It seems completely absurd that I cried over not having a daughter.

I realized that day that this was among the first of many, many, many things I would have no control over.  Life is not perfect, and now that I have a child, I know things certainly don’t always go the way that I planned.  I planned on having a girl. “Screw you, Danielle”, said the universe, “you have no control”.   However, the universe did give me something perfect – my amazing son – and I didn’t even realize at the time because I was too busy crying over the daughter I was never going to have.

A boy seemed so alien to me.  I wondered what do mothers and sons even do together.  Where do they go?  What do they talk about?  My husband pulled me out of this.  He said, “He’ll do whatever you do, he’ll just want to be with you. I went to craft fairs with my mother.”   He just wants to be with me.  Simple enough.

He’s my boy.  He loves me.  He runs to the door when I come home and when he says “mommy” it melts my heart – every single day.  I get excited to buy him dinosaurs, pirate ships, and remote controlled cars.   Because I know they’ll make him happy.  And guess what?  He makes muffins with me and we color and I know he’ll love crafts.  I helped him to hit a softball off a tee and shed a tear with pride when he made contact by himself.

I can focus on my own clothes, and “she” would have hated shopping just as much as he does.  I bet those little tights are a bitch to put on and I never liked tea parties much anyway.

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