T-25 days until due date of my little guy. I’m a huge stack of emotions, but there is a lot of unresolved feelings on the whole gender thing. When John and I were pregnant with Juliette we both WANTED a boy, but when they told us it was a girl I can’t say I wasn’t relieved. Having a girl is easy, because I am one. I know that John was nervous or unsettled, but I’m going to go into that a little bit later.
I knew when I got pregnant this time around, it was a boy right away. I told people I didn’t really have a “feeling” because I wanted Juliette to have a sister. But, I knew it. I feel like with a boy there are so many more decisions you have to make ahead of time. I’m just gonna write all these feelings out, so if there is no reason or order to these things I apologize in advance.
1. Circumcision. I have avoided talking about this with so many people, and I can normally skate around the issue a little bit, because his business isn’t really my business, but I knew this would have to be a conversation with Johnathan. After Juliette was born, and seeing her get her feet poked to test her blood sugars and getting the PKU I knew I never wanted to purposefully put my children through pain, if it was unnecessary. Of course, blood testing is necessary, and we can argue the necessity of circumcision, but I just decided that I wouldn’t force my son to experience any pain. Also, I never circumcised Juliette, so it didn’t seem logical that its illegal to perform on my daughter, but not on my son. The whole idea of circumcision doesn’t logically make sense to me. Anyway, I remember the night John and I had the talk about it. He was sitting on our brown leather recliner and I was sitting on our hand-me-down couch that smelled like cats. We were talking about names and I hesitantly expressed that I really hoped it was not a boy. He looked at me confused and I explained (much like this whole post) how there are so many things to know on how to raise a boy and I just felt like I couldn’t do it well enough…. and that I was really against circumcision. I tried to just sweep it in because I really didn’t want an argument on it, because I didn’t really have a leg to stand on except that I knew it hurt and I didn’t want to hurt my baby. He paused for a second, and asked why I was against it. And I believe my response simply was “Well, it’s not my penis. And I think he should be able to make the decision for himself.” I love this next part. He just looked back at the TV and responded “Ok.” No argument, no tension. It just logically made sense to him (one good thing about men, logic makes sense to them). And that was that. I have since gone on to research circumcision and have better feelings to back up my decision against it (although why do I have to defend my sons right to decide for himself?).
2. How a woman will raise a man. I will be honest. IF I were a single mother, this boy probably would be a huge push-over mama’s boy that would marry an over controlling woman, and be the super sensitive crier. I have feelings about boys, and I have a hard time respecting boys that don’t turn into men. I don’t think there is anything wrong with a super sensitive man, as long as he can lead his family with confidence and strength. I think John is a great example of what I am talking about, because he is not afraid to be emotional but I have never seen anyone doubt that he is a man. John assured me that because I thought that way about him, our son would be fine. Most boys turn into their fathers, just like most girls turn into their mothers (and we all love to hate it don’t we!). I love John and if I ever had any doubt about who our son would grow up to be, I can rest assured that John’s got that!
3. Teaching a man to be gentle. Now on the completely opposite side of the spectrum, one thing I try to teach Juliette and was hoping to teach to my son as well, is how to be gentle. John says to make that sound more masculine, I want to teach him to be able to control his strength. I have 5 brothers, and I see characteristics that are innately birthed in them, that was never taught. Like turning a stick into a sword. And while that is something I admire about the male species, the fact that there is strength in them without needing to be taught, it scares me! My brothers were ROUGH growing up. I thankfully had a mom who taught them that “Girls are fragile” from the time they were very young so that I never had to experience the full force of their strength. I want to teach my son to control his strength without teaching him to be weak. This is a lesson I probably will have to learn daily, and will probably be corrected by Johnathan many times, but I’m open to learn with this one.
4. I’m scared I’ll love him too much. I know this isn’t a bad thing. I know that loving your child unconditionally is the best gift you can give them, because they will know they are completely accepted and always will be. However, I’m scared that by showering him in my love and affection somehow this will hinder him. Stunt his growth in manliness. This may be illogical, but I just don’t want to be the person who turns him into the type of guys that annoy me.
And all these fears I have are so silly. I have Johnathan! He knows what he’s doing with a boy, just like I know what I’m doing with a girl. He trusts me and I just need to trust him. I know that raising a boy will be difficult, but I’m so thankful I have a partner who I love 100% and I can trust 100% to do the best job possible with our son.
I’m glad to finally get this out of my head. To clarify though, I am EXTREMELY excited and anxious to have a son now. I can’t wait for him to get here!