This is my boy, wearing his awesome shirt-tie (age: 2 months). (He wore it once, because by the time we took him to church, he had outgrown it. It's not buttoned to the top, his neck was too big. But still awesome!) I never expected to have a boy. Oh, well, maybe when I was young, because having only brothers for a long time, I figured I knew about boys, but not about girls. But then in college I realized that I would have girls, because I was good at being female. I knew how to balance the art of nurturing and helping with ambition and smarts. (Now, if I could only do my hair and make-up then I would be truly amazing, but luckily I have friends and family who can help with that.) I expected I would have girls. And I did. By the time child number three was coming, I just expected more of the same.
Plus we were good at girls.We had lots of girl clothes, and lots of girl toys, and lots of pink, pink, pink everywhere. So when the ultrasound technician announced it was a boy, there was some silence on our part.
So now 10 months after learning I would have a boy, as he's approaching six months of age, I am still wrapping my head around this concept. He doesn't whine, he growls. He doesn't look at toys, he bangs them. We have a baby toy with leaves that go in circles, he tries to pull them off. He is clearly a boy (although a boy who rarely pees when his diaper is open, huzzah!) and I keep realizing that this means that he will be parented differently - largely because he will be different. (Not that the other two don't need vastly different parenting styles...) Maybe I really mean he will be taught differently, that his future holds different expectations.
Kiddo is old enough to talk about what she will be when she grows up. She used to want to be an artist, but now she wants to be a mom. (Babs of course has always wanted to be a mom, with six kids, I believe.) I encourage her in this desire. But I also want her to think about what additional things she will do. Motherhood is paramount, but there is a need for an education, or a trade, her other passion.(Did you know your mom has an advanced degree? I used to be a teacher?) Motherhood is enriched by having more experiences than just being a child. And motherhood often doesn't come on our timetable. And although I hardly believe it right now, there are other seasons of our life... Perhaps a mission for them too?
I will tell my son about the priesthood, and honoring it. I will talk to him about his upcoming mission (only 18 years away). I will explain about supporting his family, taking care of his family, but taking care will mean something quite different to him than it will to the girls. I am overwhelmed by this, because this is not the life I lived. Thank goodness I can point him to his father, and his grandfathers as examples of men who magnified their responsibilities as men in the Gospel. There are people in his life who understand his story.
I want them all to know we all have our roles and responsibilites. And I want them to be prepared to fill them.