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Goodbye Girl

August 22, 2011
by

There are some women who don’t care for pink. Who decry princesses and glitter. Who claim to hate bows and dresses and sparkly things. I’ve never been one of these women.

Since I could first imagine of such a thing, I’ve always assumed I’d be a mother to a daughter someday. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been so close to my own mother, and always valued that bond we have. I couldn’t wait to have it again from the other side. So even when our first child turned out to be of the boy variety, I don’t know, I guess I had some sort of faith that somehow, some way, someday, I’d be painting a nursery (or nursery wall, anyway) pink, shopping in the girls section, looking at dress-up princess gowns and cleaning up barbie messes like the ones I, myself, once made. I was certain, on some level of my being that I’d take my girl prom, then wedding, dress shopping and dole out advice only her own mother could as she awaited her first-born and in the days after when the world seems just too much.

All my life I’ve written in journals and tucked away memories for safe keeping to impart to my own girl when the time came. Each one, a small parcel of the past so that I would remember what it was to be a girl coming of age. So that I could understand my daughter and, if she was interested in ever reading them, she could understand me.

It’s funny how sometimes you don’t even realize how much of yourself is invested in a certain idea or assumption, until it’s gone. Until you have to adjust to an alternate plan that just so happens to also be reality.

Friday, with the wave of an ultrasound wand, those wayward barbie shoes, the taffeta and silk of formal gowns, the heart to hearts over coffee and shopping. My daughter – if only in my own fantasies – drifted away from me forever.

Now hold on, before you jump all over me, please know that I am so grateful for my boys. I love them beyond my entire understanding and every tiny bit as much as I’d ever love a girl. Raising Gus has been the most fun (and, ok, the most a lot of other things too) experience I’ve ever had and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Not for the entire world. There is so incredibly much that I have gained from being a boy mom. And so much out there in my future. I know this in my heart.

I look forward so much to watching my boys grow together. To giving Gus a brother with whom he can share all the ups and downs of his life. I look forward to holding my second son in my arms every moment that he’ll let me, and probably some extras that he’d rather I didn’t. I love both of my boys with my whole heart. That has been true since the moment I knew that each was in there, just a microscopic ball of cells, and it will be true until I cease being.

But please also understand that I need to allow myself to grieve these things that I’ve lost. I’d be lying if I claimed that tears have not been shed. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t ashamed of this. The baby boy inside me, my baby, he’s going to be wonderful and sweet and funny just like his big brother. I can’t wait to meet him. And when I do, I’ll be ready. Because right now I’m taking the time to say good-bye to my daughter, so that I may – with my whole heart – say hello to my son.

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