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!