Five days ago, my husband and I were absolutely convinced that we were having a boy.
Why? Oh, no reason. Just the fact that we both sort of wanted to start our family with a strapping older brother (rather than a bossy older sister—whoo! I know I just offended somebody… but see, both Justin and I have an older sister and should be excused for our prejudices). And the fact that two acquaintances casually said ‘hmm… I think you’re having a boy.’ And the fact that for every one girl name that we thought of, there were about ten boy names just begging to be used.
But did we have any actual, logical, medical evidence for suspecting that our four-month-old uterine blessing was male? Nope. Not a shred.
But somehow, by the time we drove into Mt. Juliet for an ultrasound appointment on Friday, we were using the pronoun ‘he’ pretty freely.
“Oh, yeah, I think I’ve felt him,” I would say without thinking when people asked whether the baby was kicking yet. “Did you hear that, buddy?” my husband would ask to my belly, when he got to a particularly funny part in Wind in the Willows, which we just happen to be reading together right now.
So understandably (though inexcusably), we were a bit surprised to hear the ultrasound tech say, with blunt certainty: “This here is a girl!”
A girl? I could hear my husband’s mental dialogue, as he smiled and held my hand. When did that happen?
A girl? I was thinking. How did I get that wrong?
We started to feel the excitement of changed expectations almost immediately after walking out of the imaging place.
“Oh man,” I said to Justin. “She’s gonna love you. And you’re going to go crazy about her.”
“I wonder if she’ll have crinkly hair, like you?” said Justin. “I hope so.”
That night at Providence, I picked up a pair of little pink shoes with bows on them. We carried them to my family’s house and made all my siblings do a little scavenger hunt, with the shoes waiting at the end. We started talking about names—all wonderful female characters from British lit that we’ve always liked, the family names, the great and feminine Greek, French, Italian names.
And at all of a sudden, we were simply in love with the idea of having a daughter.
But let’s all be honest here—this is pretty much a win-win situation. Either you have a girl, or you have a boy. Either way, you’ve got a little person, one who is made in the image of God, and who also looks curiously like one or both of you. The little person then becomes either a woman—awesome! Or a man—also awesome!
I love women, and I love men.
I like men because they’re such chummy people, uncomplicated and often very funny. They approach their food and their work in much the same way: total dedication. I like to hear a man’s point of view; it is usually different from mine, but almost always worth hearing. Smart men, slow men, bossy men, laid-back men, athletic men and bookworm men, there’s usually something to admire in each of them. Sure, men can also be boorish or braggadocious or cruel or just plain idiotic, but on the whole, I think they’re a great gender.
I like women because they’re so chatty, and so constantly interested in relating and tasting and making things pretty. Women are also so fun—they really know how to have a good laugh, and can usually run around getting everything done while also managing to be some combination of maternal, girly, in charge, and self-conscious. Some of the most sensible people I know are women; also some of the sweetest and most affectionate. Sure, they can also be catty, complicated, and dramatic, but on the whole, I think they’re a great gender.
So on the whole, my affection for Men as a whole and Women as a whole is pretty evenly split. But now that I know I’m supposed to start raising the latter, I’ve got a new set of goals to prepare.
It’s girl time.