Before I had kids, I wanted a girl. Like most little girls, all my baby dolls were girl dolls. I think little girls in our culture are brought up to want girls of their own. After all, we are told that little girls are made of ‘sugar and spice and everything nice,’ while little boys are made from more questionable ingredients, namely ‘snips and snails and puppy dog tails’. I many ways I was very much a girly girl, and still am. I wear my hair long, I’d dress myself like a fairy princess every day if I thought I could get away with it, and I like many girly things. It’s just that in my universe that doesn’t exclude liking swords, guns, tanks and science. Of course I was never interested in fashion as a teen, but that’s mostly because modern fashion isn’t feminine enough for me. All along I wanted a mini-me to dress up like a little princess. Of course I knew we couldn’t guarantee a girl, and that I would probably be happy with a boy if that’s what we got, but I was sure I’d love a girl. Even as we struggled with infertility, desperate for any baby, my heart of hearts wanted my little princess.
Warren and I both come from families where both siblings are the same gender. We were comfortable with the idea of raising two or more kids of the same gender. Plus, if we had another girl we’d get to use all the pretty dresses a second time.
Of course we didn’t get a second girl, we got a boy.
I know most people want one of each. It’s certainly a reasonable enough desire. I knew I would love my son, but I also knew I was going to miss reusing the cute girly outfits. I knew it was a lot harder to find cute boy stuff. It was also a lot harder to find a good name for our boy. I wasn’t really on the boy bandwagon as fully as I could have been when we first found out my second baby was XY.
Then I actually met Duncan, and everything changed.
Every child is a gift. Margaret is like the gift you get yourself, the thing you save up your allowance for months and months to buy, and when you get it you find out that it is even better than you imagined. Duncan is more like the gift that someone else gets you that wasn’t on your wish list and that you had no idea you even wanted until you actually have one and find out how fabulous it is. Margaret is the holiday that you look forward to all year, Duncan is the unexpected perfect, blissful day.
I love my little boy. He is a sweet, mellow, snuggly baby with a quick smile and a generally calm demeanor. Whatever Duncan is made of, I’m pretty sure there is nothing as questionable as snails in there. He is different than Margaret, but I’m enjoying the differences between the two of them. I knew I would love my girl, and I do so very much. I am finding that I love my little boy just as much even though deep down I worried that I might be less attached to a boy. It’s simply impossible not to love Duncan.