I am having a son.
I’m a very, very lucky dad to have two beautiful girls and the joys they have given me are immeasurable. I have always considered to be a very fortunate guy, but I’ve been extra blessed since 23 March 2013, the day my life changed for the best. And 17 January 2015, when it changed for the ‘bestest’. I know that come March 2017 it will change again to the ‘bestestest’.
I confess that, when Cat got pregnant for the first time, I wished very much for it to be a boy. This is something very common amongst fathers I know. Maybe it’s the wish to play football with the ‘fruit of your loins’, the desire to have your family name carried out or the virile satisfaction of having a male. I don’t know, I just know I felt it.
The moment the scan showed us it was to be a girl, all that wishful thinking evaporated. There were no more expectations and the idea of a daughter became a reality. There was no disappointment and the girly scenarios started coming into play.
Before knowing the gender of my second born I wanted – first and foremost, the same as my firstborn – that it was a healthy child. That goes without saying of course, but what needs saying is that I truly didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. Based on my first parental experience, I kind of yearned for another girl, but a boy would also be most welcome.
We broke the news of it being a boy just a few days ago and the reactions have been… ah, curious. Apparently, I am supposed to feel over the moon because it’s finally a boy. I’m expected to feel happier because of its gender.
Well, I don’t. I did feel overjoyed when we found out about the pregnancy, but the recent news of it being a boy, made me feel… nervous and uneasy.
I’m no different than any other living being and I too, take comfort in the reality I know. I know the reality of having two daddy’s little girls but still can’t fathom the idea of having a son. It even sounds weird when I say it – “I’m having a son”. Weird! Very, very weird!
I was congratulated once again when informing of it being a boy. I find it a bit odd because I already had been commended when breaking the news of Cat being pregnant. Is this renewed felicitation due only to the fact that it’s a boy? Would I have been ‘recongratulated’ if it was a girl?
This and some comments regarding how happy I should be feeling for it being a boy, have taken Cat to feel a bit sensitive. She feels (and I agree) that such comments are an offence to our girls. It is fair that others have gender preferences, but it’s not alright that they think I should be feeling happier based it being a boy.
Cat and I have discussed this at length and we agree that we still live in an extremely gender biased world. There’s the example of China and its “One Child Policy” where parents chose to have a boy and many unwanted baby girls, simply ‘disappeared’. It is also common in many cultures that the family of the girl is responsible for the dowry when she is to be married, making having girls very expensive. But this gender prejudice is not only common in developing countries and statistical data shows how biased ‘western’ cultures also are.
I also put forward a more psychological theory – “Gender Projection of Self”. Moms want girls and dads want boys so they can live ‘second lives’ in the flesh of another. Parents get the chance to pass on gender based experience and help children become all that the parents couldn’t.
Some weeks ago we had a very interesting conversation with some friends that came to visit from Brisbane. R. and M. have two little girls and were discussing whether to have the 3rd child or not. R. is keen and M. is almost convinced, but the best part of the conversation was when Cat asked R. what her gender preference would be.
She immediately answered that she would very much like to have a boy. I find her main reason to be marvellous… she is seeking personal growth. She believes that, after two girls, having a boy will allow her to experience motherhood differently and allow her to grow as a human being. She too, is looking to get outside her comfort zone.
I deeply relate to R.’s feelings. Having a boy it’s a new challenge that, in my mind, is already putting me outside my comfort zone. I expect great personal growth in the coming times.
Anyway, I have been thinking about names and I’m keen on Luke. I just want to tell him, with a deep and loud background breath – “Luke, I’m your father. Search your feelings.”
P.S. I have asked Cat to write about this, but guess what? She’s not keen. The petition to get her back on the keyboard hasn’t worked. But maybe if I tease her, she’ll write a comment below with some of her thoughts.
Cat, our friends want to hear from you. Stop being lazy and get back to it. I think it’s because you’re a girl!!