Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Frat House

Dear Friends and Family,

If you had asked me, when I was pregnant with T1, whether I preferred a girl or a boy, I would have said I didn't care, either was fine with me. Unconsciously, though, I was expecting a girl. We were a family of girls, and I had only minimal contact with little boys growing up. All I knew about raising kids was what our parents did raising the three of us girls. So, when C and I went to the 20-week ultrasound and the doctor said we were definitely having a boy, I was shocked. Shocked that it was going to be a boy, and shocked that I was shocked. Without realizing it, I had a conception of what having a child was going to be like, which was based on gender stereotypes. What am I going to do with a little boy? I thought. Will we play house and do crafts? How do you potty train a boy?

Of course, I now know that little boys are as individual as little girls, with their individual strengths and weaknesses, interests and aversions. Our now-five-year-old T1 is tidy, physically cautious, emotionally intense, and loves words. Our three-year-old T2 is messy, expressive, emotionally resilient, and loves music. Whether its because they are boys or because of cultural influences, they love robots and monsters and aliens and everything slimy, creepy or disgusting. But they also love to help cook and clean, smell pretty flowers, draw, and take care of their stuffed animals. They play baseball, and wrestling and tackle football with Daddy, but I'm proud to say they know "mommies usually drive, because mommies know the way better."

Sometimes, though, I'm still amazed at what my life has become like. This morning I watched with pride as T2 peed in the toilet standing up, and laughed when he ran through the house afterwards, yelling at the top of his lungs to his brother and Daddy, "I went standing up without holding my penis!" I'm so glad we have boys.

Love always,

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