I grew up a girly girl. My mother entered me in my first pageant at age 4, and I continued on through the Miss America system until I aged out at 25. So, my life was pretty much make up, high heels, glittery dresses and spotlights from the time I could walk a straight line. I couldn't wait to doll up my little girl with frilly things and pretty bows. I was so ready for that!
What I wasn't ready for, however, was the bitter disappointment I felt when I was told we were having boy number two. My spirits plunged. I had the ultrasound tech check again. Yep, she said. She was certain. I smiled, of course, thankful that our baby was healthy and that we were blessed by another little person to raise. But I couldn't shake the disappointment. And I hated myself for it.
It took weeks of discussions with my husband and older women who also had multiple boys for me to let go of my visions of girl talks and shopping trips.
When Beau was placed in my arms, I couldn't believe how much I loved him. Just like with our first son, J.T., all it took was one glance and I was hooked on this kid. Suddenly, the thought of having two boys to tumble around with appealed to me. I could see them playing together, fighting with each other, supporting one another - loving each other in ways that I couldn't. It was the greatest gift I gave my oldest son, having a lifelong buddy that would "get" him more than anyone else in the world. Forever.
As my boys are growing up (they are 10 and 6, respectively), I revel in their sweaty, messy, loud rough-and-tumble ways. But I am constantly batting down others' suggestions that we "could" have a girl if we "tried again." This is said by strangers, family members and friends, as if to say, "all is not lost; there's still hope." In a way, it feels as if I need to apologize to these people for being okay - thrilled, even - at having only boys.
Here's a shocker: I don't want a girl. Because I remember the nightmare I was when I was a 13-year-old girl. And I don't want to revisit those years. Don't get me wrong, I respect my friends who have girls. I adore little girls. They are pretty in their Easter dresses and curls. They play quietly and use sweet sing-songy voices. They like frilly things, like I do. But I know a girl wouldn't be the right fit for me, just as God knew that.
For those of you who like numbered items. Here are just five reasons why having boys is awesome:
1. They come with few accessories - I can hop in the car with just a couple of juice boxes and a sketchy idea for the day and we're off. No groping for hair bows behind the dresser or matching socks. They are good to go at a moment's notice (well, if they can find their other shoe, that is).
2. Buzz cuts - Yes! Come summer time, my children are shorn like sheep. We buzz their heads to the nub. No threat of lice, it washes off with the water hose, and cuts down on the sweat smell a little. Girls don't have this option, especially in the South, where a woman's hair is her crown of glory.
3. Everything matches - Boys don't care if they mix plaids with stripes. Our wardrobe consists of cheap t-shirts, khaki shorts, jeans and a few dress pants and shirts with a few polos thrown in for good measure. That's it. I can outfit both my kids for under $200 for the year. Seriously. What mom of girls can say that?
4. Hand-me-downs! - If I had one of each, we'd be spending a fortune on clothes and decor. Having two of the same gender means what I buy for the oldest does double duty for the next. Cost savings plus! When my oldest inherited a bunkbed from his cousin, his decor automatically transferred to his younger brother. We didn't have to unload a bunch of Disney princess stuff. Win, win!
5. Boys always love their Mommas - My brother is 43 years old, and still hugs my mother like he's 12. My two boys are the best cuddlers in the world, and I know they will always have my back. I'm the only queen in my castle, which means my knights will defend me and fight on my side as long as I live. That's a very comforting thought as old age looms ahead.
I don't need hair bows and lace to revel in motherhood ; I've got superhero capes and plastic swords instead. I won't have quiet tea parties, bead-making tutorials or mani-pedi sessions. I'll take light-saber battles, camping trips under the stars and digging for worms instead any day.
No, I don't need a girl, thank you very much. We are happy with the two boys we have, and make no apologies for not longing for the girl everyone thinks we need - or should want. So, if you run into me at the super market or on the town square, you will know where I stand. Save your sympathetic looks. Because, frankly, I've got it pretty good.