If at first you DO succeed, why try again?

I was standing in line at the store with my babies, waiting to pay for a new pair of transitional pants (for the transition between maternity pants and my pre-pregnancy jeans–wish me luck!) when I noticed the cashier eyeing us with interest. My oldest, a daughter with beautiful blonde curls, was sitting in the front of the cart, all smiles and saying ‘hi’ to everyone. And there in the basket of the cart, nestled into a car seat and barely visible under a tan blanket, was our precious new arrival.

When it was our turn at the counter, I opened my purse and the cashier pointed to the car seat, asking my daughter, “Who’s that?”

Glowing with pride and bouncing with excitement, my daughter exclaimed, “Baby Sissy!”

It was adorable–one of so many heart-melting moments when I’m reminded of how fortunate my daughters are to have one another. But apparently, this answer wasn’t quite what the cashier had hoped for. She turned to me and said, “My daughter had three girls before she got her boy.”

I don’t know what type of response this woman expected from me. Perhaps she was looking for sympathy about having too many granddaughters? Did she want me to commend her daughter’s perseverance? Perhaps she was trying to offer me encouragement that, someday, I too might get MY boy. I’ve actually heard quite a few comments along those lines lately. Friends, acquaintances and my extended family like to tell me about how the next one will be our boy, as if having two girls somehow increases the odds of a third child possessing a y chromosome, and as if my second daughter is some sort of consolation prize–just a detour on the journey toward completing our family with a son.

It would seem that, to these people, having babies is like learning to crochet, with the secret to success being to try, try again until one has achieved the exact result one had mind from the start. The problem with this line of thinking is that they have no idea what pattern I was working from. Who are they to assume that our two girls aren’t exactly the family my husband and I always dreamt of having?

Furthermore, let’s say for the sake of argument that we did start out wanting a boy. One fundamental difference between raising a child and crocheting a sweater is that parenthood has a way of changing who we are how we look at life. If there ever was a time when I imagined a girl and a boy as the ideal combination, that time would have to have been before the arrival of my first daughter. Because once I held that tiny pink bundle in my arms, once I experienced the unique joy that comes from loving a daughter of my very own, there was nothing I wanted more in this world than a second helping of that, and I got it!

Could two baby boys, or a boy and a girl have made me as happy as my two girls have? I sincerely doubt it, but then again, I don’t really know what I’m missing out on by not having a son. I only know that my family doesn’t feel incomplete.

At this point in time, I don’t even know what I would do with a boy if I had one. I’m a ‘girl mom,’ and I’m happy this way. Our status as a family of four is a destination all on its own, complete with the two best grand prizes anyone could dare to hope for. I don’t know whether my husband and I will ever have another child, but I can tell you that if we do, it won’t be because our girls aren’t enough for us. It won’t be because we just had to have ‘our boy.’ It will simply be because we wanted another child to love.

As for that cashier, and anyone else with a less-than-enthusiastic outlook on same-sex sibling sets, I don’t know if I’ll ever understand where they’re coming from. Do they honestly think that once you’ve had one daughter, you’ve had them all? I’ve only been a mother of two for a month now, but I can already beg to differ on that! Do they picture me pacing the floor at night, wringing my hands, crying and longing for the son that life still owes me? If so, they are sadly mistaken. My daughters keep my hands and my heart filled to capacity, thank you very much.


One thought on “If at first you DO succeed, why try again?

  1. Poignantly & beautifully-stated. I couldn’t agree more.
    One of my favorite lined from people out-in-the-world (just my favorite sort….) is the “Oh. Just the one?” only somewhat thinly-veiled question/accusation.
    Yes, that little boy you see there beside me is my heart walking around outside my body, and, yes: he’s somehow more than enough, “just the one” that he is. <3

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