I was fifteen when I told my mom that I fully expected to have all boys someday. “Why do you say that?” she asked as she pulled away from the movie theater where I had just finised watching Wesley Snipes slay the bad guys in Passenger 57 (I don’t know why I remember this detail so vividly yet for the life of me I could not remember scheduling a dentist appointment for myself this morning…).
“Because no matter how hard I try, I somehow seem to always end up alone with all the guys.” I said this as if it were a curse. But it seemed to me at the time to be true. Looking back on it, I see more clearly what happened. Yes, a large group of people were invited to see Passenger 57. Yes, both girls and guys were included in the invite. Yes, all of the other girls were smart enough to decline knowing that two hours of Wesley Snipes trapped on an airplane with terrorists sounded about as exciting as a jellyfish sting.
Ah, but in my youth I felt that it was nothing more than a sign from the universe that I was destined to be the mother of a motley crue of little men since I was obviously so inclined to be surrounded by them at all times.
Fast forward six years to my courtship with Lee when I found out the he was one of three boys, his father was one of two boys, his grandfather had all brothers and so on and so on. For five generations this was the pattern. Tucked in there somewhere was a cousin who had a little girl after three or four boys. Needless to say, the Stuart men possess an abundance of the Y-Chromosome. And this seemed to only further confirm what I thought I already knew – I was destined to be the mother of all boys.
I was really okay with this. I didn’t much care. Until, that is, someone made the comment that Stuart’s can’t make girls and that “hopefully I was okay with all boys”. Well, I was but now I had a challenge and in my stubborn little heart I determined that I would create a girl out of sheer willpower.
(I wonder if that is why I was given the most stubborn little girl on planet Earth? Huh…)
I am always careful not to minimize the blessing of a family full of boys. There is a prevailing thought amongst society that somehow a family can’t be complete unless both genders are represented in the children. While I will agree there are specific blessings that come with girls that are different from boys, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that had Tia been of the male persuasion I would have felt any less satisfied or enamored with that child. All boys, all girls or one of each, the fact is kids are an enormous blessing.
But I must say that there are a couple of things about having a girl that melt my heart. They are things I didn’t know I would love. Like cooking with my daughter and wearing matching aprons while we do it. I didn’t know I would love that so much.
But now I do.
Or the simple delight that takes over her face when I ask her to help me make dinner:
I didn’t know I would love that…but now I do.
Of course the boys love to help me cook too. But there is a different feeling that sweeps over me when Tia and I cook together. It’s marked by the fact that deep down I know our cooking together is preparing her to one day cook for her own family. It is more than fun, it is a mission and I feel deeply honored to share that with her.
I didn’t know I’d feel that way…but now I do.
I didn’t know how much fun it would be to see a little girl dressed in tights and leg warmers prance around a room:
I didn’t know what it would do to my heart to have my daughter ask me to help her with gymnastics. I liken it to the swell of pride Lee feels when the boys ask him to play basketball or baseball with them.
I didn’t know how my insides would melt and flow out my ears every time she crawled up into her daddy’s lap and his eyes turned all starry. I just didn’t know.
But now I do.
Of course, I also didn’t know that little boys, when they belong to you, have the ability to make you love playing ball, talking Star Wars and searching for worms in a way you never thought possible.
I didn’t know this…
But now? Now I do.