About A Boy

Now that the whole world (including my next door neighbor!) knows I’m pregnant, everyone keeps asking me the same thing – do I want the next one to be a boy or a girl?

And of course, because it’s me, I can’t answer that question with a simple yes or no.

Before Eli was born, I really really really really wanted a girl.  And I wanted a girl until the minute he was placed in my arms, and then of course as I have stated one hundred million times since then, I wouldn’t trade him for all the girls in all the world.  I mean, honestly, I couldn’t care less – he could be a girl, a boy, an iguana, or Stuart C. Little, he’s my Eli.  He’s not what I had cooked up ahead of time as what I wanted, but luckily, someone else is in charge, because he’s what I got, and man, he’s so so so so much better than what I thought I wanted.

The best way I have ever been to able to describe it is that sometimes I look down at this little blond creature lurking around my knees and I think “Oh. You.  Yes!  It’s YOU.  If I had known you were going to be YOU, I wouldn’t have worried at all.”

So this next time.  I don’t know.  If I have a boy, I will be thrilled, because it will be a brother that Eli can drink too much beer with some day and who can give him a scar over his eyebrow and I have a perfect boy name picked out and because when I think about NOT having a boy, not having another gummy toothed chicken legged snicklefritz, I feel sad.  Plus I already have all the clothes.

But oh, a girl.  I am not sure how to say this, but I just…I think of not EVER having a girl and that feels impossible.  It doesn’t have to be NOW, but some day I want to buy EVERYTHING in the little girls department of Target and make pinafores and take a little girl to the Nutcracker in a new Christmas dress.  I want to share Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls Wilder and Frankie Landau Banks with my daughter and I’m sure this is some kind of horrible thing to say but I just can’t see Eli curled up with Rilla of Ingleside, you know? So.  It doesn’t have to be NOW, but some day.  Because I just can’t imagine not having a girl ever.

So if this is a girl, it kind of takes the pressure off.  I don’t have to HAVE a third kid, a third kid can be like, optional or a fun accident or whatever!

And I won’t lie, I think it’s a girl.  Even though I have a bad track record in this particular area, it feels like a girl.  When I talk to the baby, I talk to her, and I call her K Dub, and I remind her that I am totally not going to let her wear any makeup until she’s at least sixteen as revenge for this terrible morning sickness.  (although to be fair Eli is totally not allowed to wear any makeup until he’s sixteen either.)

I just have this vision.  A vision of five or six years down the road, on a hot summer day somewhere in the great state of Vermont, of a skinny girl in a faded one piece yellow swimsuit, standing on the dock of a lake with a strap hanging off of one bony shoulder.  She’s turned half way away from me, this girl with Mr. E’s dark hair and blue eyes, and I can see one drip of water slipping off one dark wet flip of hair, and I know that she is my daughter.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to let go of that girl, even if she’s not mine to know in this life.

I think I kind of just said I want both.  Did I say that?  It’s so true.  I want a girl AND I want a boy.  But since I am fairly certain I am not having twins, I’ll just say that it makes no sense and it isn’t really fair of me to say this since I am getting a BABY out of it either way, but I think whatever I’m having, I’ll have to say goodbye to a some one, a dream, one way or another.  And I think I’ll be really sad – there is real loss there.  Whether you are saying goodbye to skinny boy chicken legs and JKF Jr. rompers, or saying goodbye to pigtails and pink ribbons, it’s loss.  It’s still goodbye.

And I hope to remind myself of Eli – of how I look down at him and know that he is just who he was meant to be, just who I need, just as he is.  That what I wanted had very little to do with it.  That it’s just his Eli ness, really, that matters, not the dresses or the rompers or what books he’ll love, or any of that.

And also?  I really can’t wait to meet you, whoever you are.

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21 Responses

  1. I mourn never getting to have a little girl all the time, so this totally spoke to me. I can’t wait to see what happens for you :)

  2. Beautiful! I’m terrified of girls and I adore my boy more than I should be allowed too- but this resonates with me- my second will be our last- a brother would be amazing, but that means no girl, ever. Hmmmm.

  3. yes yes yes, but more importantly, are you going to find out what it is and tell the entire internet, preferably ASAP?

  4. First time commenting-I totally agree with you! I have two boys (3.5 and 18 months) and I love them with all of my heart. I just FEEL like I will have a girl one day-and what prompted me to leave a comment was what you wrote about Anne of Green Gables. I still remember the day I got that series in the mail from my grandmother. I still check those books out from the library consistently-they are so sweet and precious and I have pictured so many times my (hypothetical) daughter curled up, enjoying them like I did. I hope you get everything you wish for! P.S. Sorry for a long comment.

  5. With my second, I wanted a girl so we’d have one of each and no one could think we were having more kids “to get a girl.”

  6. I love how you write about your Eli, because it mirrors so much what I feel towards MY little blond Eli boy. It felt so strange when I found out he was a boy, because all I knew, literally, was girls and girl stuff. What would I do with a boy? How would I… BE with a boy?
    I would be in love, is how I would be. Actually, we named him because in the recovery room after I had him my father in law started randomly singing the Three Dog Night song, “Eli’s Coming.” One of the lines is, “Eli’s comin’/Better hide your heart, girl.” Something like that. That is exactly how I feel about my boy!
    And so now that I have one of each, all I want is ANOTHER one of each, because I want a sister for Addy and a brother for Eli! Hah. We shall see…

  7. Mr. A has declared if we ever have a child, he wants a girl. So do I, so I’m sure we are destined to have a son.

  8. This is EXACTLY how I feel. Part of me wants a boy, because having two boys seems like a lot of fun. But having a girl means we’re done, and I kind of like that idea too. Either way, your baby will be perfect for your family, girl or boy.

  9. This is a lovely post and I really enjoyed reading it. Either way, your little Eli gets to be a big brother, which is awesome.

  10. At the risk of repeating myself, beautifully written!

  11. Perfectly said! And cause for me to scoop up my own little boy in his purple shirt and brown cords and exclaim, “Who ARE you?! You’re mine! I love you!”

    I had visions of a skinny boy in jean overalls with floppy brown hair when I was pregnant with Rainer and when he came out a chunky little blondy, I was surprised, but delightfully.

  12. yes, that was exactly how I felt about the second baby after having The Boy. And then we found out No. 2 was Boy No. 2. I expected to be sad — we really don’t want three kids, so this is it: no girls — but, I really wasn’t. It’s like you said about Eli: You get what you should have.

    That being said, I really don’t know who I’m going to give my Anne of Green Gables books to.

  13. The pressure is off? But what about four?! FOUR!

  14. For someone who doesn’t like crying, you sure make me DO IT A LOT. This is adorable. And I’m not sure what you meant by that Vermont comment, because you’re planning to stay here forever, RIGHT?! I hope you start feeling better soon so I can come hang out with you and Eli. Oh, and Mr. E, too. I guess ;)

  15. I am due in less than 10 days and we haven’t found out the sex of this baby. I want a girl SO BADLY and basically sat in my OB”s office last week and cried “what if it’s a boy???” to her. I know I will love a boy and it will not matter, ultimately, but I do mourn for those Brownie meetings, marathon Xmas cookie baking sessions, etc. I saw this dress last week and it made me weepy because WHAT IF I DON’T GET TO BUY CHRISTMAS DRESSES? Never mind that I never had holiday dresses as a kid and we are not really a Christmas dress kind of family… but I want to buy this stupid dress!

    I have officially lost it. Pregnancy has made me lose my mind.

    http://www.janieandjack.com/shop/dept_item.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524443461610&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374303046731&bmUID=1258747824729&productSizeSelected=0

  16. I think this is lovely. I have two, one of each. When I pregnant the second time, I very much wanted a boy, because I had a girl, and I wanted one of each. I wanted the experience of each gender. Now that I have one of each, I would be very inclined to prefer a boy, if I were to get pregnant again, because my son is so much more relaxed than my daughter, but that’s just their personalities. But thank you for reminding me how many lovely books there are still to share with my daughter.

  17. you express it so well.

    you know what’s always puzzled me? the reaction of people when you tell them if you’re having a boy or girl. they get so excited! but… they’d get equally excited if you said you were having the opposite… so what’s the point?

    I’m full of deep thoughts. =)

  18. So I’m thinking your solution here is twins. Then you WILL get both.
    see how helpful I am? Someone should totally give me a talk show.

  19. i love it when you write like this…about the little girl with the brown hair, and how you’ll be mourning SOMEthing one way or the other…of course i don’t love that you’ll be mourning something, but the way you wrote that just melted my heart.

    also, i love how you call him “my Eli”. PRECIOUS.

  20. Well, I have two wonderful little boys. And, it couldn’t be better. I would have been excited either way but I must say that I always felt like I’d have two boys so it just felt right. But, when I told people I was excepting another boy, I got a LOT of, “oh, well, that’s okay too” type comments. And, “Oh, so, no girl for you then, that’s too bad.” So, not everyone will be excited either way….people are just people. And, well, family is certainly just family sometimes ;)

  21. congratulations!

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