When Mike and I found out we were pregnant, Mike said, “I hope the baby’s a girl.” For a long time I was on board with that idea, joking to people that I’m only going to find out if Baby 2 is a girl. If it’s a he, well, he’ll have to wear some girl clothes I’ve secretly been hoarding in the trunk of my car. At least for the first year. I desperately wanted a girl, a little girl with my hair and coloring who would grow up to kick ass in speech and debate, dominate her Gifted and Talented Calss and would choose Stanford as her campus for the month she spent at Junior Statesman of America. I wouldn’t live through her, I want her to replicate my life. I wanted a little image of me, a mini-Mona, because that’s exactly what the world needs: someone who cannot calculate the tip at a restaurant but tell you exactly what episode of The Simpsons and/or Friends this reminds her of.
I knew Nathan would be a boy even before I found out, but with this child I’m not so sure. What if my initial pining jinxed me? Or just jumbled up my maternal instinct so I’m confused, like when Mike asks me a math problem and he’s not going to let me shrug it off or distract him by offering some WIFELY DUTY (a gift that keeps on giving for thirty minutes or until Deadliest Catch comes on, whichever is first).
I was at a work event a few weeks ago and someone brought his two sons who were barely a year apart from each other. The way I saw the two boys move from headlocks to holding hands and back again made me think, “A boy wouldn’t be so bad. A brother for Nathan would be just fine.”
A boy would be nice! Boys are sweet, especially mine. When we we’re getting ready to walk out the door and I kneel in front of him to zip up his coat, he’ll pull me in and right before kissing me full on the lips, he’ll turn to his father and say, “DADDY! LOOK!” like he’s going to be Oedipus 2K9. The other day I was napping in my bedroom but forgot to turn off the light. Nathan barged in, the door banged against the wall, waking me up. I saw him reach up to the light switch, flip it off, and then announce, “I sleep with you, Mom!” He hoisted himself onto the bed and snuggled next to me until both of us fell soundly asleep. I don’t know if that’s a “boy” thing or just a Nathan thing but suffering through the “No! I don’t want to!” tantrums just for those sweet moments makes me feel hopeful for the next child and the lovey dovey times to come. Or maybe I’ll give birth to Damien and right before jumping off the balcony, I’ll yell, “THISSS IS ALL FOR YOUUUUU!”
But really, what I want is Nathan and Baby 2 to have a relationship like I have with my sister, Bobbie. Bobbie is my best friend. Every day she calls me and the time difference sets our conversations during my lunch break and her morning exercise routine and we spend the time mostly talking about kefir, what she learned in the Sephora beauty book, our kids, and then other times we just exchange impressions of our mom. I always enjoy every conversation with her and I feel my anxiety rise when I don’t get to talk to her because we talk. A LOT.
Bobbie is ten years older than I am, and for many years she was just my idol, the big sister who came home from college during Christmas break with fancy things like a Caboodles jewelery case and rich girl smelling lotions. She knew things about wine and Depeche Mode and was a size 2. It took a long time before our lives were more comparable and we could relate to each other and before I was truly grateful for a sister who will call me in the middle of the night asking if she can tell me a secret only so I can answer, “As long as I can tell the whole internet. And mom who is on the other line.” I want that for Nathan. I want that for this child.
My ultrasound is scheduled for the week before Thanksgiving, so I’ll know by the holiday if I’m hosting a boy or a girl in this body party. Either way, we’re going to celebrate. Maybe this time, the child will have Mike’s eyes and my everything else. Here’s hoping.