On having a boy
April 06, 2007
I wanted a girl.
Oh, God. It HURTS to type that. To admit that. It's one those big secrets of motherhood that nobody ever talks about, right up there with pooping on the delivery table. That you even had a preference in the first place, much less that you had a strong preference and cried when you found out you weren't getting what you wanted. Like I did. Oh, God.
And then I spent the rest of my pregnancy feeling so guilty about it and alternating between "oh shit, I'm having a boy" and "oh shit, I don't deserve to have this boy because what kind of horrible mother thinks that way?"
I wanted a girl for all the normal stupid reasons -- the clothes! the hairbows! she'll be my best friend and we'll go shopping! -- and because I felt so incredibly incapable of raising a boy. A BOY. With sports and bugs and aiming at Cheerios in the potty and...yeah. That was about the extent of my boy-raising knowledge.
Probably still is, actually.
My friends tried to tell me how amazing little boys were -- how incredibly precious and special the mother-son bond can be -- and I smiled wanly but secretly remained entirely unconvinced. Not because I didn't like little boys or anything, or because I doubted that my son would be precious and special -- but because I just doubted myself, plain and simple. I doubted my ability to love and adapt and just DO this motherhood thing.
I probably would have done the same thing if I knew I was having a girl, too. I would have just found something else to fixate on. I was wholeheartedly committed to allowing anxiety to rule my pregnancy, pretty much.
And then Noah was born. And they put him in my arms and every cliche in the book hit me like a ton of bricks. A ton of bricks cemented to the grill of a Mack truck. A Mack truck that was towing the Empire State Building.
Just...love. Primal, crazy love. And it was like someone let me in on this Great Big Secret. Little boys! The mother-son bond! It's so precious and special!
Why didn't anyone TELL me?
Noah is such a boy. SUCH a boy. He owns dolls and sweet fluffy stuffed animals. He tosses them aside in favor of toy cars and blocks and soccer balls. We go on nature walks and I show him flowers and butterflies. And he couldn't care less, because look! Dirt! Rocks! Trucks! Yanes!
And it all delights me to no end. This boy! This amazing little boy. My buddy, my clown, my sweet son who climbs into my lap for kisses and gives the best hugs in the world. And then begs me to chase him around the house while making stompy dinosaur noises.
I know one day we probably won't be so close. Mothers and sons aren't supposed to be too close, right? Nobody wants a mama's boy. Nobody trusts a man who still worships his mother. He needs to grow up and away from me, even though I doubt I will ever stop craving everything about him. His face. His dimple. His laugh. His chubby body and his full-tilt-boogie bear hugs that come at 100 toddler miles an hour.
Having a boy is the most amazing, precious and special thing. You can see the years stretch out before you, full of sports and bugs and inevitable heartbreak, and you know it will all be over in the blink of an eye. But it doesn't matter. I don't doubt my ability to love and adapt anymore. He's my son, and he's everything I ever wanted in the world.
Friends of ours are expecting their first baby in August and just found out it's a boy. I clapped my hands with joy when I heard, because oh, they're in for the best time.
(Totally Random PS: Any DC locals attending or thinking of attending the Taste of the Nation event on Monday? You should TOTALLY go. Good food, a great cause -- and I'll be there and probably drunk off my ass in a most undignified fashion. What more could you want on a Monday night?)