This is the post that makes me feel like an asshole.
So, let me get this out of the way. I fully understand that what I’m about to say makes me sound like an asshole. I have people in my life – people I really really love – who want what I have and can’t have it. People who just want healthy, happy babies. People who want healthy bodies. People who want happy marriages.
I have those things. Yet, here I am feeling sad about what I don’t have.
I know people will call me an asshole, just know it’s nothing I haven’t called myself.
I want a little girl. I’ve always wanted a little girl. When I was growing up – when I dreamed of being a mother, I envisioned a house full of little girls. I thought a little boy would be fun, but it was almost an afterthought. I would be Marmee with a house full of Jos and Amys and Beths and Megs.
My first ultrasound confirmed what I knew to be true. I would have a daughter.
Well, we all know how that story ended. I wonder now if I would feel differently had I known from the beginning Griffin was a boy. If I wasn’t forced to grief the little girl I named and dressed and dreamed of over and over and over again.
But it doesn’t matter. That’s not what happened.
When I’m tired and stressed and overwhelmed, this is the pity party I throw for myself. I wonder about the baby I lost. I wonder if that baby was the daughter I’ll never have or proof that I only make boys.
But it doesn’t matter. We’re done having kids. It’s hard and expensive and I’m getting too damn old.
The little girl I dreamed of will never be and it breaks my heart.
I do not want to feel this way. I would literally give anything to be a woman who says, “I really never cared if I had girls or boys” and MEAN it. I feel petty and small and ungrateful.
I have to find a way to let it go. I’ve been thinking a lot about what is at the root of my sadness. I know logically it’s not about “missing out” because having a daughter is no guarantee of anything. She could be a tomboy. She could be transsexual. She could choose to remain unmarried or childless or hate all things feminine.
It’s about fear. I’m afraid that my boys will move away and not call. I’m afraid that I’ll reach old age and no one will care. I’m afraid they will marry and belong to another woman and will no longer have room for me in their lives.
Deep down I think that sharing a gender with a child means we will always SHARE something.
I’m afraid that I won’t always have a connection with my boys. I’m afraid being their mother won’t be enough.
What I’m realizing with some sleep (and several long walks on the beach) is that my fear of the future is making me miss opportunities in the present. I’m missing chances to connect with my sons RIGHT now because I’m so worried about losing them down the road.
That has to end.
I have to let go of this fear. I have to grief the daughter I thought I was going to have and let go of that sadness. I have to live the life I have and stop wondering about the one I don’t.
I have to learn about Minecraft and Star Wars and – God save me – even sports because I can’t depend on the shared the life experiences that pass between a mother and a daughter.
Or maybe I don’t. When I stop seeing what’s missing, I can’t help but notice everything that is there. I was literally writing this post as my friend painted her little girl’s nails only to have Amos join us on the porch with a giant grin because he wanted his nails painted too.
So, I stopped. I painted his nails. I held his little hand and he smiled at me and I smiled at him and we connected.
And nothing was missing.
Nothing at all.