I do not have a daughter.
I am the second oldest of eleven kids. Of the top five, four are girls. So the bottom half of my family is very boy-heavy. I helped raise those brothers. I held them, and played with them, and rocked them. So raising boys now is familiar, and comfortable, and joyful.
I am not one of those women who has always pined for a little girl. The thought of raising a girl, in fact, has made me nervous. I have enough estrogen for an this household. I love little girls, and I have a few very wonderful ones in my life. I was thrilled when my ultrasound showed boy parts. Both times. Plus I adore my stepson, as you well know.
But I want a daughter for life.
When I see moms getting pedicures with their teenagers, my heart hurts. When I think of not having a daughter to watch go through her life...dating...getting married...having children of her own, well...that kills me a little.
I watched The Help last weekend (which has a thousand lessons in it...I should probably dedicate an entire blog post to it, in fact.). In it, there is a scene with a younger-self of the main character and her maid. It's an intensely maternal moment and it struck me in a place I can't describe to you except to tell you that it made me weep on my husband's shoulder upon returning home from the movie.
I love my family. I love it so much that I'm planning to put up a white picket fence next spring. True story. My boys are awesome and healthy and someday they'll marry well and I'll have daughters-in-law, and granddaughters if I'm lucky. And I have little girls in my life to bond with, and love. And I'm grateful.
But I'll mourn not having one of my very own for just a little while before I move on. (Because it's okay for us to grieve for things we don't have, so long as we're thankful for the gifts that we do have.)
It's my mom's fault, really. If you know my mom, you'll know that she's kind to everyone. She's gentle. She's an amazing listener. I told my mom everything growing up. I spent countless hours with her in the kitchen (not helping...just watching her work and visiting (she was a far superior mother than I was a daughter)). I'd be sad, and I'd sit in the living room. She'd give me some time, and then she'd come in and touch my hair, giving me permission to cry. She loves me so deeply. I think she's still mad at the first guy who broke my heart. So you don't need a psychology degree to see how her beauty as a mother inspired me to want to provide that for another human being.
I'll be 35 on my next birthday. It would be more information than you'd like (and inappropriate on a public blog!) if I shared with you why I'm pretty sure that the childbirth chapter of my life is closed. And I trust that God knows best. And I trust that my boys will always love me, and share with me and want to be with me. And who knows...maybe I can even drag one of them for a pedicure someday.
Thank you to my God and my dear husband for understanding and kindness and patience, and Kleenex. And for my white-picket-fence life.