We have two pepper shakers. Everyone in the world hopes we’ll soon be blessed with salt. Because three pepper shakers? That would leave us with an awful lot of cartoon sneezes and absolutely nothing to throw over our shoulders for luck (which we’ll need by the truckload if we hope to have any chance against three pepper shakers).
I’m not exactly sure why we (and by we, I mean society) seem to carry this need for intrafamilial gender balance, as though having a girl would complete the set of Kelloggs we’re collecting. I do know that a lot of people wishing for the next Kellogg to be a girl have divine retribution, not balance, on their minds. They giggle gleefully at the prospect of me raising a girl. Because, you know, they think that would be cute or something.
I’m sure it would be.
But other people have a different cloud of purpose lingering behind their eyes. We have two boys. They’re a handful. They’re high energy. They’re boysssss. Gasp. (They are kids, by the way. I’m not at all dismayed by the fact that they’re not boring.) A third boy? Holy Moses, what would that do to Heather? What would it do to our house? What would it do to the universe?
Break them all, obviously.
So we simply must have a girl. Honestly, yes, we would love to have a girl. Heather would love a girl (finally). I would love a girl (obviously). Addison wants a girl (not all that surprisingly if you know his occasional feelings of angst toward Colin). Colin has expressed his desire for the baby to be a boy who is invisible (repeatedly).
Colin’s answer is the funny one, right? Too ridiculously specific and extraordinary. Except, everyone who says they want a girl or that we should have a girl does so with very specific qualities in mind, n’est-ce pas?
Girls are sweet. Girls are quiet. Girls are obedient. Girls are cute and pretty and sugary and spicy and exhaustively nice. Girls learn to read faster. Girls don’t wrestle. Girls don’t belch loudly. Girls wear pretty dresses and play with dolls and don’t crash trucks into your head.
I grew up with three sisters, and I know as well as you do that the above paragraph is a load of crap. Girls in general may exhibit similar qualities to those listed above (or below, if you’re standing on your head or reading this in space). But, as far as I know, there’s very little chance that Heather is giving birth to girls in general. There’s a 50% chance she’s giving birth to a girl. And when we do find out the gender, that will tell us absolutely nothing about what this child will be like.
She might be a tom boy. He might be a dancer. She might be a princess-loving, Barbie-toting, run-of-the-mill average girl. He might conspire to destroy the world. Somehow, I think we’ll love this child all the same.
Some people sagely advise that we hope and pray only that the baby is healthy. Oh, and cute. And smart. And nice. And successful. Because nobody wants to parent a sick, ugly, dumb, jerk of a failure. I don’t know. I just want to meet this kid and see how we get along.
All I know is that this kid is the size of a lime, and be he a he or be she a she, a lot of people seem to be placing an awful lot of expectations on the child. I just want my baby to feel loved. That’s something I can influence. Everything else is fart noises.