Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I think it's 100% OKAY to be a teensy bit disappointed.

A good friend just found out the gender of her baby-to-be. Guess what? She was surprised to find out it was the opposite gender that she expected it to be, thus she was thrown for an entirely understandable loop.

I had a similar experience when I first found out my child-to-be would be a bouncing baby BOY. A couple of weeks later we came to find out our little XY was actually an XX. Whoopsie.

For my husband, the discovery did not go over so well. He didn't really come to terms with the idea of having a girl until he started to actually enjoy spending time with our child. That happened about five months into her life. I don't think this sort of disappointment is really the kind I find "okay"-- but it happens, and we're still working on what it means for our little one to have crashed the party for two that my dear husband that was THEMOSTAMAZINGESTTHINGEVERINTHEHISTORYOFRELATIONSHIPSAHHHHH.

I digress: I was admittedly also the teensiest bit disappointed because I'd already come to terms with having a bouncing, rough and tumble, BOY. I was ready to be that mom-of-boys that I had formerly been annoyed by (since then I've partially overcome my stereotyping of boy-moms, but not totally, although I am certain my friend will change that for me). Nevertheless, when you find out (or truly believe) that your kid is going to be of a particular gender and then you find out otherwise, there are a number of reasons to be a little upset (unless you live somewhere like China, then  you have WAY more reasons to be upset by the XX).

My biggest reason for disappointment was the lack of girl-drama that would now be my life as a mother of a boy. Now, instead of being annoyed by the (excuse my French) bitchiness of a middle-school-girl combined with my own utterly inevitable bitchiness I would now have to succumb to it and likely would play into it, whether I meant to or not. I also knew that having a boy meant I wouldn't have to hold myself responsible for things like teenage-girl eating disorders, loser boyfriends, and low-(girl)self-esteem. (The boy-brand of low self-esteem is WAY easier for me to stomach, but that's another post entirely.) I also knew that my having a boy meant he wouldn't be whining to wear my shoes (as my daughter literally is at this moment) after the age of five or so. Seeing as how my daughter has unreasonably small feet, it looks like I won't have to worry about sharing mine with her for awhile, but it's likely to last for decades after that.

I found out we were having a delicate baby girl and I set about trying to deal with that while also coming to terms with things like how my mom's relationship with her mom effected the way she parented me and my siblings (and how my relationship with her and her mom, and every other man or woman I've ever met) would effect the relationship I have with my own daughter as well as my parenting style. At first it was overwhelming, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit to finding myself over at my neighbor and friend's house a bit teary-eyed over the possibility of really fucking-up the role of mother to a girl (she's mom to five... girls).

Fast forward to now and I am still the same basket case I always have been, but I am realizing that my personality is the kind where I blame myself for things both out of and within my control so I can partially make myself believe I have control over all of it... and I don't really have control over most of it because that's life.

I have also realized that when life throws you for a loop... or tells you you're going to be a mom of a boy and you end up with an amazingly rambunctious, awesomely smart, all-round rough and tumble, and ridiculously pretty GIRL, it's both out of your control and total human nature, to feel that twinge of disappointment. But, all of the best parents hide that part from their kids (even when it lasts until they're five months old) and eventually realize: the universe gives you what you need to get.

My friends will meet their little boy in mid-2013 and he is going to be an amazing kid-- even more amazing than his parents can ever imagine right now-- because they are amazing people. And, if they decide not to have anymore children, then my daughter will get the pseudo-sibling she doesn't yet have, and they will get a stand-in daughter whenever she comes to visit. (Hopefully, we'll get a stand-in son if we're deemed acceptable for visits too!)

This little boy is going to make them work, because for this particular couple, a baby girl would have been easy peasy, but a boy is going to make them face every personal fear and failure head-on-- I speak from experience with my daughter-- and because of that hard work they will love him, and each other, in ways they cannot expect to fully understand now.