For almost 18 years of my life, my biggest dream was to have a daughter. I got married almost 14 years after this dream first surfaced, and went to work right away to make it a reality. It took several more years to discover–and admit to myself–that marriage was not an automatic guarantee that this particular dream would come to pass.
I never pictured myself as the mother of a boy. I’m not exactly a girly-girl; I’m not into fashion or jewelry, for example. But I also have no experience with yard work, tools or auto mechanics, nor any desire to gain experience in these areas. Furthermore, I’m a control freak, and a nice quiet compliant little girl was always my dream child. On top of that, there’s the saying: “a son is a son till he takes him a wife, but a daughter’s a daughter for the rest of her life”, which further detracted from any desire I might have for a son.
Well, this control freak learned not only how little control she had over conceiving a daughter, but how little control she had over conceiving at all (and the few times a conception actually occurred, it didn’t last for long). God certainly has a sense of humor, because shortly after starting the adoption process, we were on our way to pick up our newborn baby boy on 24 hours’ notice!
Within 48 hours of meeting my son, I wouldn’t have traded him for any baby girl in the entire world. How had I lost sight of the fact that blue has always been my favorite color?
I love the blue that he has brought to my world. I love hearing him make engine noises as he plays with his trucks. Yes, he has some of the stereotypical boy traits that I used to dread, such as impulsiveness, attention issues, the need to grab anything within a two-foot radius, etc. But he’s not wild, and he’s not adverse to sitting still and snuggling with his Mommy for a good chunk of each day. In fact, he’s the most affectionate child I’ve ever met, and that works for me!
Yes, I still wish for a daughter. Yes, I will probably always have a twinge (or more) of regret that I missed out on the experience of having a daughter. And if I had had only a daughter, I probably wouldn’t have much regret about the absence of a son. But that’s because I wouldn’t know what I was missing.
Now I know, and I also know that the secret to contentment is focusing on what you have, not what you wish you had. I would love to have a daughter, just as I would love to have a big family. But instead, I have a son who I love more than life itself, and I absolutely love the one-on-one time I have with him, which I would not have if my family were bigger.
My son’s early childhood is going by way too fast, and before I know it, it will be time for him to “take him a wife”. The thought of this often throws me into a panic, but I need to remind myself that sometimes the things I can’t control end up being my biggest blessings. He is proof of that.
Claire is a contributing writer on Catholic Mothers Online.