One morning last week, I took my girls out for bagels before school. An older man walked by as we were eating. “Double trouble,” he said. “Now you just need a boy.” I replied something like, “Yeah, I think we’re done.” I don’t know if he didn’t hear me or wasn’t convinced. “We were lucky. We had a boy and a girl, and then we were done,” he said. “I think we’re done, too,” I said. This was the end of the discussion. But having only sisters and two daughters I can’t just let it go.
I wasn’t sure what Pumpkin picked up from the exchange, but there have been times when she brings up something later that I didn’t realize she’d noticed when it occurred. So when I buckled her back into her carseat, I told her, “I think that man thought he was being funny, but what he said wasn’t really very nice. I want you to know, I’ve never been sorry to have two girls. I love my girls and I wouldn’t change a thing.” She smiled. “Okay, momma.”
Now, I will admit, I always pictured myself with a daughter. When I was pregnant with Peanut, I was so much more sick than I had been with Pumpkin that I figured I must be having a boy, and convinced myself I was until we had the ultrasound. Plus, I knew that Mr. G was hoping for a boy. But I also know that he’s also happy with his two girls, and loves them more than anything. He’s never tried to talk me into trying again in hopes of having a boy. And I know my dad and stepdad were never sorry to have only daughters – but, growing up, my family certainly didn’t conform to traditional gender roles either.
Now, I obviously don’t know how I would feel if I had only boys. I know I would love them as much as I love my girls, but I don’t know if I would feel as though I was missing out on something. (My grandmother had four boys and, as I understand it, wanted a girl so badly she was convinced my dad, the youngest, would be a girl, and refused to cut his hair when he was a small boy. His aunt eventually took him for his first haircut, and my grandmother eventually got her girls in four granddaughters.)
I have a friend with two daughters, and a third baby on the way. They won’t find out the gender until the baby is born, but it infuriates him that people assume they must be trying for a boy.
Obviously, different people have different ideas about the children they want and those ideas aren’t limited to gender. What I don’t like is someone I’ve never met assuming that everyone must feel the same way they do, and making those comments in front of my kids. I hope my kids always know that they are enough. And they are perfect, as long as they are always true to themselves.