Note: This post is the first in our three-part “Labor of Love” series. Join us for more from Bridget next week!
“Yes, we know how this is happening” – but thanks, fifty-something-year-old man in the produce aisle that just made me extremely uncomfortable. Yes, I am thirty-seven weeks and five days pregnant with my third boy.
A BOY! And the ultrasound tech was positive, too, because I required four different angled shots of his little private. 🙂 “Honey, it’s sure not going to change no matter how many different angled shots we get.” But I knew it deep down. I knew I would be a dynasty’s dream. Both of my grandmas had three boys in a row; so did my mom and one of my sisters. I grew up taking care of three little brothers, so I really didn’t know any other way. Boys were in my future, for sure! Minutes after announcing the news to my family, I received a text from my brother which said “I’m so excited! Just think of how much fun mom had raising three boys in a row!” I had to stop myself from thinking about it, because I honestly don’t remember her eating or sleeping much during that time.
One strange part about being pregnant with my third boy is watching people’s disappointed looks, hearing their sighs – even a few “I’m sorry”s. (Sometimes, they’ll try to recover with “trust me, boys are easier.”) Most of the time, those words are coming out of their mouths as one of my kids tackles the other one and screams “you’re not the boss of God!” (If that threat means anything, I have yet to figure it out.) Then, the well-meaning stranger will smile and slowly back away – often saying something about the teenage years and girls talking back. By this point, I typically can’t hear them because I’m trying to pull one kid off the other and get one of them in the shopping cart before they knock over an entire display of Cap’n Crunch.
I do appreciate their encouragement, though. The truth is, I love having boys. Most days, I love their energy and imaginations: the way they actually believe they’re Spiderman or can transform into Optimus Prime. There aren’t many boring moments at our house! And while I’m not completely naive to the ways of little girls after working in a preschool for three years, my image of them has always been one of them wearing tutus and coloring all day long.
My time spent working in a preschool also taught me that I am easily manipulated and that I would be a girl’s dream for a mother! Picture this: my son Cooper, age 2, in a shopping cart …
Cooper: I want to go to the park.
Me (not thinking because I’m looking at my grocery list, then repeating what he said): You want to go to the park?
Cooper: Oh … sure!
… like it was my idea! And then I was completely confused on whether it was my idea or not – and of course, we ended up at the park.
And just like that, I would be at a piercing salon, watching the daughter I don’t have get her belly button pierced. I know boys can do the same thing – manipulate, I mean. I just don’t think they’re as good at it! They do, however, raise the bar in photo-bombing, de-pantsing, farting, breaking their toys, breaking their bones, etc. I am ertain that God knew my need for a little drama in my life which is why He gave me boys. 😉
The constant questions – “did you want a girl?” and “will you keep trying?” – often leave me not knowing what to say … as if all three times we got leftovers when we really wanted the entree. I cringe sometimes thinking that the little one inside my womb can hear all of this talk! He hasn’t even been born yet, and already there is talk of how we might get that pair of X’s to line up next time around. I don’t want my boys to ever think they were our second choice, that we would have been more satisfied if our family were any other way.
I love to sit back and picture my husband as a little boy, shooting his pretend spiderweb and saying things like “look at my muscles!” Boys grow up to be men, husbands, dads; and as their mother, I get to be a part of teaching them to be kind, sacrificial, honest, trustworthy, responsible, and loving towards others. I hope moms of boys will read this and be encouraged that we get to be the ones to show them to be tough, but also to be tender. I do wish it was easier for us to look past the huge display of baby girl’s clothing and sweet baby doll toys; I hope we can turn those longings into the joy of knowing that we are raising men to one day love and care for those precious little girls. Our responsibility is a privilege – one that we can enjoy as we sort through action figure t-shirts and superhero light-up shoes.
As I waited in anticipation for my first and second, I am now waiting to hold my next special addition to the family: my third son. In the meantime, I am posting all of my Barbies and American Girl dolls on eBay and treasuring the fact that everyone in my house thinks they are stronger than me.