Now that I know I’m having a boy and it was instantly pre-destined and perfect the minute the blue(ish) onesie came out of the box, the whole world is offering boy generalizations and ideas and advice (and clothes, thank you A!!!). Before I knew what I was having, my stated line was that my whole family is girls, we know girls, we would adore a girl, and a boy would be a whole new exciting and mysterious adventure. I never had a brother or even a nephew. I don’t have that many close guy friends, don’t keep in touch with exes, and have gravitated more and more toward female communities of SMCs, pregnant ladies, midwives, and moms. The only man in the house is still in utero. I have a lot to learn!
And I guess I will learn it all from him. The generalizations are sweet and well-intentioned and probably grounded in some truth but may not apply to all. For example:
- Boys love their mamas. While my brain instantly plays devil’s advocate and says, “well I love my mama and I’m a girl,” I know that this is really getting at what is unique about the mother/son relationship–they complement each other as opposites, the nurturing feminine and the protective masculine. I really know so little about this and am going off what people are telling me. I love the idea that the baby chose me and we already love each other a lot.
- He will love going backpacking with you in national parks. I like to think that my kid would dig this either way, and maybe there’s an equal chance that he or she wouldn’t. But it’s a smidge easier to picture a boy getting deeply excited about tearing up a muddy mountain trail and encountering wildlife and learning how to start a fire. (Even if not, I’ll probably force him to go anyway…)
- Finally, someone to carry on the family name. With all the girls in my family, our surname is perceived to be in some jeopardy. But it is important to notice that I am carrying on the family name by giving it to my son and have no plans of changing it, ever. My single sister seems to be in no hurry to ditch her name in the near future either. So let’s not give this boy all the credit just yet!
- He will come out with a crown on his head. This one is from J, who was the last-born in a huge family of mostly girls. I think that when his family looks at him, there is indeed a crown on his head. When he goes to visit his family in Venezuela, his grandmother starts crying days before he gets back on a plane to the US. However, even with all us girls, my parents have never once even minorly alluded that they ever wished for a boy or anything different than who we are, and their reaction to this boy is no different. This boy will not be treated as royalty but instead as the fantastically perfect addition to the family that he already is. Period.
- Yay–I won’t have to go through the pink, sparkly, fairy princess phase! As much as I would like to believe this is true, I know that my boy might be girly. If he wants to grow his hair and wear a skirt, you know me well enough by now to know that I will let him. I guess I’m glad that at least if he goes this direction it will be a sign of individuality rather than conformity, and I won’t say more since I may have another baby and it may be a girl who is obsessed with Disney!
- Boys are more of a handful as kids and girls are more of a handful as teenagers. Really? It just seems like every phase of development has its challenges, some easier to handle than others, and it’s totally different for every kid. But if you subscribe to this one, tell me why.
- Boys are pretty straightforward. I get a lot of reassurance from thinking this is true although, again, they didn’t seem so straightforward whenever I was dating them. Are they pretty straightforward and I’ve been overcomplicating things? There’s a good chance this is true (hoping so).
All I know is he is a boy and he has a sweet face and a fight-the-power fist and is thumping the heck out of me right now. I really do picture a soccer player which everyone says but it’s hard not to when you’re the soccer ball. Em has encouraged me to set up daily “fetal love breaks” where I sit and connect with him and count his kicks and develop an intuition about how he’s doing. So far, even through all my illness over the holidays, I’ve always felt like he is thriving in there and a happy little bug.
I’m in the phase of making epic lists, mapping out projects on the calendar, and feeling like time is growing short… I did, however, learn that the third trimester starts at 28 weeks, so that bought me a little more second trimester time to be really productive. Still feeling good (minus the killer charleyhorse from 4 days ago that still has me limping!).
Here is my growing boy at 25 weeks in the Dolo, courtesy of Ms. R:
Grateful for the opportunity to learn how to raise a good man for this world.
Happy MLK Jr Day, peace!