Friday, February 23, 2007

Girl Blue

I never even realized I wanted a daughter until I heard the words It's a boy!. The first time I heard the words, when I was pregnant with Brendan, I was elated. I knew I wanted my firstborn to be a boy no matter what.

Still, I came home and took the little blue dress my mother had saved all those years out of my cedar chest and sat on the floor and cried, knowing in my heart that it would never be worn again.

Almost exactly one year earlier I had lost a baby, having a miscarriage at just 10 weeks. My doctor performed a D & C and sent the tissue off for analysis to determine what had caused the miscarriage. One of the things we learned was that this baby had been a girl. Apparently, the girl of dreams I didn't even know I had.

When I got pregnant last year, my hopes battled against one another. On the one hand, I had never really visualized myself having a daughter. I'm not really a girly-girl, and my own relationship with my mother was a roller coaster of angst that always left me envying the relationships my friends had with their mothers. When I saw myself with a child, it was always a sweet, loving little boy. But, usually only the one. Yet, there was some sense there of wanting to experience raising both sexes. This, despite the fact that I hate Barbie and princess stories, and the whole nine yards that's wrapped up into having a girl these days.

But when I again learned I was having a son, I was happy. Really happy. Happy that Brendan was having a brother. Happy that I had experience with a son. Happy that I didn't have to start from scratch. But, at the same time, I was heartbroken.

Sons really love their moms in a way that daughters never will. But daughters need their moms in ways that sons never can and I'm never going to know that.

I will never get to decorate a room that doesn't involve planes, trains, automobiles, diggers, bulldozers, insects, lions, the Atlanta Braves, Falcons, or sports in general.

I will never experience dance lessons. Or help my daughter learn to wear make-up. Or hear about a first crush.

I will never help my daughter pick out a prom dress. Or buy children's shoes that are any color other than white, brown, red, black, or grey, or used for any purpose except to learn to walk or run up and down a field or (hopefully!) basketball court. If I'm lucky, I can get them both into a pair of saddle shoes at Easter. Just for something different.

I will never help plan a wedding for my daughter. I will never get to see her try on a wedding gown for the first time or have anyone to wear the wedding gown that still hangs in my closet. I will never put the pearl necklace I wore at my wedding around her neck.

I'll never get to see Scott whisper sweet, funny, words of wisdom to his only girl just before he walks her down the aisle.

My daughter will never call me and ask me what to do about a colicky baby or ask me to be with her when she has my first grandchild.

The best I can hope for is that my sons marry girls who like me and invite me to be a part of their lives in some way.

Good luck with that.

(And all of this just because a friend had her fourth baby last week. The third girl. Named one of the perfect beautiful names on my short list.... Clare.)