19 April 2005

in defense of boys

There is an attitude that really bugs me.

Since having my daughter, I have had many, many people say…
“So, you finally have a girl. Isn’t it great?”
“Don’t you love having a little girl?”
“Now you have one of each…”
“I know boys are great, but aren’t you glad you had a girl this time?”
"There's just something about a girl..."

The variations go on.

I know these people mean well, but such comments are actually offensive and I find them highly obnoxious. Why does everyone think girls are that much ‘better’ than boys? At one time, I’d have said I was partial to boys (that was all I had then--now, I'm partial to both).

I adore my son. If I’d had another boy, I’d have been thrilled. I used to say I’d take a houseful of them and be happy. And I would have been.

I equally adore my daughter. I am not disappointed that she’s a girl by any means—she’s perfect just for who she is. And yes, she is definitely more fun to dress (it is way too easy to buy too many clothes for her).

But, I do not love having a girl more than I have loved having a boy. I think boys are awesome. Little B thrills me and delights me (while pregnant with Miss C, I was heard to say “Boys are the best” to a new mother of a baby boy). My daughter also thrills and delights me. I am glad to have ‘one of each’ for one reason: I believe brothers and sisters can learn from each other and learn how to treat one another…wonderful life lessons. Boys learn to be nurturing from their sisters (especially if the girl is older)…girls learn to be a little tougher and are protected (usually when the boy is older) by their brothers. Most important, they have one another to care about and be loved by. No, sibling relations are not always perfect. But a nurturing family atmosphere goes a long way.

I’d have happily taken just boys or just girls. We didn’t want an ‘only child’ if we could help it, but there was no preference about boys or girls. I wanted children to love. Children to be a family with. Children to care for. Children to be deeply seated in my heart. I got that.

With both of our children, we waited until they were born to discover their gender. It did not matter to us if we had a boy or girl. We simply loved the new little life for whoever they were. I actually ‘thought’ Little B would be a girl. (Gee, what kind of mother’s intuition is that?) And, when he came out a boy, I had a moment’s grief for the girl that was not. Likewise, when Miss C was born, I had a moment’s grief for the boy that was not. In both cases, I was absolutely astounded by the incredible little person I was holding in my arms. Awe and love consumed me. To this day, I am increasingly consumed by that same awe and love for my children. They are miracles to me.

My husband and I enjoy watching our children sleep. We can be found at night gazing at either of our kids as they slumber peacefully and our soft sighs and small comments are occasionally emitted.

I love both my children so deeply. I simply cannot understand the attitudes I have heard—even from moms of an older boy and younger girl. Had Miss C been first and Little B just been born, the only comment I think I’d have heard would be “Now you have one of each.” I doubt I’d have been on the receiving end of “You finally have a boy.” I was not waiting for a girl. I was waiting for another little person to love.


bekah said...

Maybe women tend to be biased toward girls because they are females themselves? I have always said I'd rather have all girls than all boys... but the truth is I'd be delighted with either. When I think of my children being grown adults, I think it might be easier to enjoy a daughter than a son? Thoughts?

cjoy said...

Interesting. My mom has said it's the boys who stick around and care for their parents in the later years, ultimately. I think I just feel sad for anyone who won't see the wonders of a boy, perhaps! :) Of course, I see wonders in my little girl, as well.