On Being the Mama of a Boy

downtown June 26th

It's an interesting thing, to think you know what you want, to assume you know exactly what you need, and to then be surprised with something totally different.

Before Henry was even a sparkle in my eye I always thought I wanted a little girl. I'm a girl's girl for sure, and the idea of having a son never crossed my mind, even as a child playing house. But life does as it pleases, and here I am, the proud mama of a little boy, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

While pregnant I just knew I was having a girl. I felt it. And most of my friends thought the same. I was so sure about this that I even had a box full of girl's clothing I started collecting once I became pregnant. Inside the box were vintage dresses, little mary jane shoes, and the prettiest bloomers and hats and sweaters.

So I'm sure you can guess that on our big gender ultrasound day I went into the appointment feeling fairly certain there was indeed a girl in there. I remember arriving at the doctor's office, holding Hank's hand, my 20-week stomach full of butterflies. I remember walking back into the room, so nervous, so hopeful that everything would be okay as they went through the anatomy check. And I remember when the ultrasound technician asked, "Okay guys, do you want to know?" Time stood still for that little moment as we replied, "yes, definitely," all the while both Hank and I silently freaking out.  The technician clicked her mouse a few times, adjusted the probe, and exclaimed "You're having a...BOY!"

I laid there for a second in shock (did she just say boy?!), then started happy-crying as the waves of emotion I'd been holding back hit me all I once. I was happy. Scared. And so, so excited. Our family came into the room and everyone was cheering and shouting and high-fiving each other. I was lost in a sea of eight people's excitement, still stunned and still silently freaking out.

For days I thought about how strange it was to have a boy on the way. How would this even work? A boy? I hadn't planned on this, I had no idea what I'd even do with a boy. But yet there he was, and he was on his way, ready or not.

It's funny to me to look back at the panic I felt thinking about Henry being Henry. It lasted for a few days, and then all of sudden, it became my reality. Of course I was having a boy, of course. I couldn't have imagined anything different.

And now when I hear that sweet "Mamamamamaaaaa!" from across the house, and see my big-little boy come running towards me, full speed ahead, enveloping me into one of his famous bear hugs, I know that this is what my life was meant to be. Trucks and footballs and lots of noise, Star Wars and cut off shorts and Vans sneakers. All boy, all the time.

So for now my box of girls clothing is tucked away, up high on a closet shelf. I'm not sure if I'll ever get a chance to take it down- and really, I'd be totally content if that time never came, much to the surprise of my formerly pregnant self, who couldn't have ever imagined all of these positively "boy" moments that make up my day. In the middle of my tea partying, dressing up dreams, I never thought I'd be playing motorcycles on the ground with a little boy named Henry. And maybe one day he'll want to tea party and dress up too, but for now, motorcycling on the ground is the only place I want to be.