Thursday, April 30, 2009
The perfect family?
M and I were talking recently about people's reactions when we tell them we're having a boy. I can't tell you how many people have said to both of us, "Oh, the perfect family, a boy and girl!" It always kind of sets me back to hear that. First, because the idea is so prevalent. Secondly because, "Do they really feel that way?" Is one boy and one girl some sort of ideal? And what if you wanted a boy first and then a girl? Is it less perfect then?

When I was growing up I would have told you my ideal family was twin boys. I wanted everything done in one pregnancy and I wanted boys. I was baffled by girls, even then. I was never a girlie girl and didn't relate. I wasn't prepared to raise a girl. So, of course, our first child was a girl. And I wouldn't have had it any other way. I love my daughter. I love her girlie-ness. I love Emma and all of her individuality.

I will now admit that I wanted a boy next. Only because I personally wanted the experience of both, and because I wanted M to have a son. It wasn't because I thought one boy and one girl was some measure of perfection. Seriously, for some people one child is perfect. They can balance their lives better that way and it is completely fulfilling. If someone has two boys already, everyone assumes a third pregnancy is trying for a girl. But plenty of people love boys and want more boys, and vice versa. The implication is that somehow they're "missing out" if they don't have both. I mean, how do you account for people who have a girl and a boy, a perfect family, and then have more children? Are they greedy? Deranged? Why push your luck when you've already achieved perfection?

I guess the truth is a lot of people say things without thinking (You learn this lesson well when you are pregnant, trust me). In my mind there is no "perfect family." Everything is subjective. My personal feeling is that every child is an individual and they should be loved on their own merits, not because they're a girl or a boy. Be grateful for the gifts you're given.