“Its another boy!” I can still hear the surprise and slight disappointment in my sister’s voice as she announced the gender of my third-born child. I was already Mom to two precious boys, and this new babe was now solidifying my status as a “boy mom”. To be honest, I had never even considered the fact that I might not have a daughter. Yet, here I was holding my third boy born in just over three years. These precious brothers . . . the very sight of them all together made me picture years of playing in mud puddles, shooting hoops together, camp outs, endless sporting events, and all things “boy”. I knew that they would have so much in common and it was going to be so special to watch them grow up together. And yet, there also came the realization that at 28 years old, having already had three children, I might very well never have a daughter.
I think that for the most part, a baby is a baby. Boy baby or girl baby, they all need to be fed, changed, loved — all the basics of what it takes to raise a small human. Sure, the clothes for girls are so much cuter, but here in the South there are plenty of precious smocked dump trucks and airplanes to make me swoon. I love a little boy in a bubble or a Jon Jon! And it seems easier to not have to buy 500 bows in every color or ruffled socks to match every outfit. I would assume that it’s probably hard work to style a toddler girl’s hair . . . and convince her to not yank those bows out of her hair.
It is the long term of not having a daughter that makes my heart sting a little. To even admit that makes me scared my boys will one day think I wish they had been a girl. I do not wish that even for a second. These boys of mine, I would chose them a thousand times over. Even as I type this I can hear their laughter as they ride scooters in the driveway, and it literally melts me. They own my heart in every way possible.
But I am aware that these little Mama’s boys of mine, the ones who ask for “morning cuddles” every day, who whisper their fears and their dreams only to me; these little boys who hold my hand, and tell me I am “so beautiful” and who ask if they can live with me forever, who never tire of my kisses; these little boys of mine, they are going to grow up to be young men. They will need me less and less every single year. Their affection for me will shift, they will hug me less, and they will whisper their fears and dreams into someone else’s ear. They will become men, and the memory of four little Mama’s boys will be remembered only by me.
Yes, they will still love me; and yes, they will always, always be my babies. But time will turn them into men, and a new relationship will emerge between us, because it has to. I think this is when I will know the true weight of having never had a daughter. If I had had a daughter, the “growing up” part is when we would become closer. I would hold her secrets, and teach her how to be a young woman. I would help her learn to be a bride, a wife, a new mother. She would welcome me into a relationship that can only exist between Mother and Daughter.
In many ways it’s the opposite of my boys, who will pull away as they grow. That is the part that hurts my heart. I see my grandmother, my own mother, and I know that I will never share that connection with my own daughter. When I am my own mother’s age, will I be lonely? Will I miss what could have been? Perhaps I will, and that is okay. Perhaps my daughter-less future will not be sad, but just different. Perhaps it might one day even include a granddaughter. I will surely go broke buying all the pink in sight. 🙂