Friday, February 6, 2009

Buttons and bows

I suppose, in her heart of hearts, every woman wants a baby girl. I've always theorized that it's a hangover from the days of dolls and daydreams of clouds of pink lace and soft, fluffy things. And, of course, from somewhere deep in our ancient genetic code, the desire to reproduce oneself.

I had three pregnancies and delivered three wonderful male children, who have presented me with four adorable (and adored) male grandchildren. I've grown accustomed to boy things: trucks, Spiderman, StarWars, light sabers, Matchbox cars, tiny little briefs, questions about why I can't pee standing up, and fart jokes. I've also enjoyed through the years the button-bursting pride of being surrounded by tall, handsome young men, and a sense of matriarchy that perhaps comes from being the only woman in a houseful of male children. I've shared a sense of camaraderie with my two beloved daughters-in-law, and especially Lisa, my d-i-l, Sr., who is herself the mother of three gorgeous boys.

When my youngest son and his wife (d-i-l, Jr.) announced late last fall that we will have a new addition in July, I kind of assumed that I would add one more boy to my stable of boys. And, quite frankly, I was okay with that. I had long ago given up the idea of leaving my doll collection to a grandchild and assumed that it would pass someday to a great-granchild, or find its way onto the shelves of the local Goodwill Store.

So, here I sit tonight, still digesting the news that Ben and Briana delivered this afternoon: I'm going to have a granddaughter! It still seems unreal. I've tried to imagine changing girl diapers, and I'm already pondering what I will sew/crochet/embroider for her first gift. Oh, I know that her parents will want me to not be too fluffy, and I will try very hard to honor that. And I know that she is just as likely to be a tomboy as she is to be a girly-girl. And I know that I will do with her as I have done with her brother and allow her to grow into her own person, respecting her strengths and weaknesses, loving her and reveling in her accomplishments. I know that her gender will not make her more or less important to me, and I know that I will love her for herself, cherishing her life as I cherish her brother and her cousins.

But I know, too, that she will carry within her the strength of generations of strong women from both sides of her family, and that she will also live in a time when those strengths will not be deprecated because she is a woman. This child, my granddaughter, will stand in a time of new opportunity. She will benefit from the generations who have gone before, male and female, and can make her choices based on her own abilities and desires. In some ways I envy her, being born in this time to parents who will recognize that she will be her own woman and who will help her realize her potential.

I look forward to meeting you, dear granddaughter, and holding you and rocking you and singing to you, as I have your brother and your cousins.

I hope it's okay if the blanket I wrap you in has a little lace around the edges!


  1. Congradulations!!

    We have four boys and one girl. She's the youngest and while I wouldn't trade her for anything, if she'd been #3, we might only have 3 children.

    I love having boys, I guess because I'm not a girly girl it has worked well for me. Our daughter is a little firecracker. She wears me out some days, but other times I look at her and I am overwhelmed my how grateful I am to have a daugher and how I hope I can give her the tools she will need to be a strong woman.

    It's good to have a little of everything.

  2. I have a daughter and a son respectively. Oh, my, how different boys and girls are! While I love the frilliness, pinkalicious, barrettes, and frou frou that goes with girls living through female adolescence was enough to wonder why anyone would want a daughter! Now that she is 23 she is a dear friend and she understands me oh so well.

    I understand exactly what you are saying, Cheryle. I think women yearn for that little girl to dress and revel in all that lace, hair fussing, and fluff. When my daughter was 2 1/2 yrs. old, we were visiting friends who had 3 boys. Ann lost a lace trimmed sock and my friend said if found she was not returning it just because she so wanted something little girl lacy in her life!

    (And I always feel bad for friends with only sons who have no clue about Hello, Kitty!)

    Enjoy spoiling her!

  3. You make me feel like the belly I'm carrying should have a big bumper sticker on it that says, "precious cargo"... of course I feel that way already, but I love your perspective of the past and the future here.
    And I'm as excited as you are (maybe even more). And I'll even admit, as much as I do like to temper the inevitable parade of pink that will soon take over my house with a few browns, purples and greens, I confess I got a little bit of girl fever as I shopped for two new sundresses for her last night... :)

  4. Yaaaay!!!
    I so wanted a daughter that I could dress up and put in pig-tails and buy barbies for and play tea-party with... Mine likes lip-gloss but almost refuses to wear dresses or pig-tails. And though she likes Barbies, she doesn't actually play with them much.
    It figures. Mom kept putting me in over-alls and giving me trucks, and you see how that turned out. ;)

  5. Boomer and Djinn: Be careful what you wish for! (with a very big grin)

  6. First off, when exactly did I become "d-i-l Sr."?!? (hahahahahaha!!) Second, I am so envious of this little girl! Not so much because of not having one myself (hey, I've worked with toddler girls--ouch!), but because she will be graced with something I never had, which is a big brother. I can just see how adored she will be by Addison, and I hope that love can never truly be replaced by any other guy. And I hope she appreciates how lucky she is, for the wonderful family she is being born into.