About a year ago I had just discovered that the new life growing inside me was a little boy, and I wasn't sure how to feel about that news. The voices inside my head were arguing as usual. One voice said that this was not a good thing while the second voice argued that one day in the future I wouldn't be able to fathom wanting it any other way.
Here we are a year later, and the first voice is saying, "You were right!" and the second voice is saying, "I told you so!" and for the first time in my life, there is complete agreement between us all. It seems funny to me now that I would wonder about being able to attach to a little boy, when my life just feels absolutely complete in a way that it never could have felt without him. I was asked a gazillion times when I was pregnant with Dear Son if the baby in my belly was a boy or a girl. Mommies with two little girls or two little boys flashed envy in their eyes as they mused aloud about how wonderful it would be to have one of each. And I would say (rather flatly), "Yes...wonderful" as I walked away thinking about all the boxes of adorable baby girl clothes I had stored away and wondering why I wasn't excited over this boy idea.
The truth is, I always wanted a sister--a friend that was as thick and close as blood. Someone to share secrets and stories and giggles with. Someone to share clothes and makeup with, and someone to talk about boys with. My friends who have sisters reminded me that there is a dark side to sisterhood as they told tales of their childhoods and their sisters stealing their boyfriends and their clothes and just being plain old mean and catty, as girls can be. And one friend told me that I was having a boy because God knows what I need. "Just wait until those teenage years hit!" she said. Indeed, in all my work with pre-teen and teenage kids, I have always tended to much prefer working with the boys--except for the one that threw an eight pound monkey wrench at my head during a home visit. Fortunately he missed.
However, I don't even have to wait for those teenage years to feel so keenly aware that God did indeed know that my little boy is just the sort of nourishment my soul needs. And though I hate to stereotype, during this phase of Dear Daughter's bug-o-phobia I tend to feel relieved with some degree of confidence that my little boy won't likely share this fear at her age. Of course, Dear Sister-in-Law (a Mommy to four boys) reminds me that a different dilemma could arise: Dear Son may become infatuated with bugs, insisting on capturing them and inviting them into our home. Some days I actually think I could handle this better than the 110th episode of squealing and crying in response to a miniscule ant. Then I see a big spider or one of those flying black beetles and start thinking the little-girl-fits over bugs may be better than the little-boy-invites of bugs into the house (the voices in my head now have something new to argue about).
Then I consider that a brother and a sister could make great companions. I feel an indescribable emotion in the pit of my stomach when Dear Daughter shows her concern and affection for her "Little Bubster," and likewise when the Little Bubster grins and giggles at his big sister just because she is there. I'm beginning to think that mealtimes are going to be quite interesting for the foreseeable future, or a good five years, whichever is longer. Dear Son sits at one end of the table in his highchair grinning adoringly and giggling non-stop at his big sister while she sits at the opposite end of the table cutting up for his benefit--and becoming more and more frenzied in her efforts to elicit his amusement and adoration. Sometimes it all creates such a racket that Dear Hubby and I completely give up all efforts at conversation relating to the news of our own respective days. It's annoying and endearing all at the same time. And it also fills up some of the newfound moments of quiet inside my head that have occurred as a result of there being one less thing for the voices to argue about.