When I was a child I always wanted to be a mother. I know there are a lot of little girls who don't, but some do, and I was one of them. Not only did I want to be a mother, but I wanted to have four children and, as if it were a matter of course, I assumed they'd all be girls.
I assumed I'd be the mother of daughters the way people assume they'll graduate from high school (a lot of people, anyhow); it was just a given, it was just something that would happen.
So when I had my first pregnancy and my then-husband and I decided to keep the gender of the baby a "surprise" I was, indeed, surprised to learn I had just given birth to a boy. Even more, I was kind of hurt. I felt that my own ideas and vision of myself as the mother of little dancing daughters had been shunned or scoffed at by the universe, like, well, like a child's idea of "cooking dinner" is scoffed at by her parents when she comes to the table with peanut butter and jelly spread on a cracker to present to the family.
As my son nursed and I got to know him over the first few hours I fell in love so deeply, so completely, that after a very short while I couldn't even imagine having any other relationship with any other child, and my dashed daughter dreams were like smoke--vanished.
During my second pregnancy I just knew I was having another son, there was no question in my mind. In fact, I was so sure, I had begun picking out boys' names from the moment I learned I'd conceived. I felt this little boy was coming to Earth to spend his life with his big brother and I was merely the conduit, the pathway for him to get here. When the ultrasound technician told me she saw a little boy inside of me, I just said, "Oh, I know, I know - are we finished because my first is waiting with my friend and I've got to pee!"
Having boys has been nothing short of a supreme education. As we are all in life's school here, learning lesson after lesson about ourselves, about the way of others, about relationships, I can truly say that my sons have been my greatest teachers.
About the daughters I did not have, I sometimes still feel sad and, I can't lie here, a little ripped off.