Journey with me if you will, dear reader, to a typical day in the typical life of me. I’m entering or leaving somewhere (probably Publix), struggling with the weight of my already enormous six-month pregnant belly on my 5’1″ body. I’m flanked by two blond boys, one or both of whom is probably whining or screaming about something. A passerby spies this scene, laughingly shakes his or her head while motioning to my stomach and says “You’re having a girl, right?” as though God and nature itself would surely never curse a poor woman with something as ludicrous as three boys. When I say that, no, in fact, God apparently hates me and this fetus I’m carrying is another boy, my new friend lets out a sigh of disbelief and says either “Ugh, good luck” or “Oh, I’m sorry,” like I’ve just told them I was accidentally impregnated with a walrus instead of a human child.
Today’s episode has been brought to you by the letters F and U and the number 2.
The most surprising thing about this scenario is that it happens every. Single. Day. And the people on the other side have been men and women, young and old, as if the need to rudely comment on the contents of a woman’s uterus knows no age, sex, creed or color.
Why is this a thing? Why do we as a society apparently believe that a family is somehow incomplete or inferior if its children don’t represent both genders? Why do we act as though the child’s parents have literally any ounce of control over the sex of their baby and are therefore to blame if this perfect gender parity doesn’t work out?
Now, I won’t lie to you, dear reader: I did enter into this controversial third pregnancy hoping for a girl. I’ll admit it. I’ve always pictured myself having a daughter, who in my daydreams looks like I did when I was little and is for some reason always wearing a one-piece swimsuit. And especially since the sudden death of my mom, I’ve been really hoping to recapture the mother-daughter relationship I’ve been missing for the past several years.
Was I sad when I found out baby three was another boy and that little girl in the swimsuit would probably never exist? Of course. I felt the feelings I needed to feel for about a day or so and then I got over it. (Also, FYI, if you ever need to get over a gender disappointment situation quickly, just Google “gender disappointment” and read some of the crazy things people write and you’ll be cured, if only so you don’t have to associate yourself with lunatics).
I’m pregnant with a thus-far healthy baby. I was lucky enough to get pregnant with him quickly and easily. He will be born into a home with (some) money and food and brothers and clothes and an annoying dog and enough love and patience to hopefully keep him out of therapy until he’s a teenager. All of these things combined are more than many, many, MANY people in this world are able to experience. So why would I dwell on the fact that he happens to not be a girl and why should anyone else either?
I think we as a people are so preoccupied with achieving the perfection that we and the rest of the world think we’re supposed to have, that we overlook the amazing and miraculous things we do have. Feeling disappointed that the family you dreamed of having won’t look the way you always thought isn’t ridiculous, but focusing on it to the point that you can’t feel any happiness or gratitude for the family you do have is. And, complete strangers straight up telling you that you have something to be unhappy about because you didn’t reach that gender-balanced brass ring is so stupid I could (and probably will) punch someone in the face.
So, let’s all just chill out on the boy vs girl baby thing. Some families have all boys, some all girls, some equal or unequal mixtures of both. Those factors don’t predict how loving or organized or content or happy a family will be. All it can predict is how many hand-me-downs the neglected youngest child will have to endure.
I’m having a third boy and, people, it’s cool. Don’t worry about it. They’ll all eventually pee standing up, they’ll all probably continue to make me stop to watch cement mixers and they’ll all hopefully still love me when they’re old. As another person I adore who pees standing up and loves his mother once said, “You can’t always get what, but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.”