Ok, so I’m 42. That’s “Older than Dirt” on the Advanced Maternal Age gestational scale. Pregnancy is not kind to my body, and I’m too poor to adopt. I know I need to just accept the fact that my child-bearing days are over and the sparkly pink dreams I’ve had my entire life of parenting a daughter are just not going to happen.
Don’t for a minute think that expressing these wishes implies on any level that I am not grateful for my sons. God has blessed me, richly, and there are multiple moments in every single day that I am overwhelmed with joy that I was chosen to mother these awesome little guys. All three are miracles, and I love them more than life.
But just as I can love both apples and oranges (or, let’s get real, the Reese’s cup and the Godiva truffle) loving my sons doesn’t do a thing to quell the craving I’ve always had to be a mom to a little girl. It’s two totally different things.
Now, everyone tells me that if I had had a girl, she’d have to be a tomboy to survive in this household.
Maybe they’re right.
Or maybe she’d have joined me in a pink-laced, Barbie-and-unicorn-infused rebellion against all the testosterone around here? Because I have not become a tomboy yet.
But for whatever reason, God has said “no” to this desire of my heart. I don’t understand why. It’s not like he hasn’t had countless opportunities to make it happen if he wanted to. I don’t know that I’ll ever know the reason why this one longing — perhaps one of my deepest — has gone unfulfilled. But if I believe in a God that has only my best interests at heart (and I do) then I have to trust that he’s done what is best, even if I don’t understand it.
Even if I never do.
So in honor of the Little Girl Apted Who Never Came to Be (her name would’ve been Katie, by the way), I share just 10 of the many reasons I wanted a daughter:
10. So I could pass down my doll collection. I’ve always loved dolls. Even if my daughter wasn’t a doll-loving girly-girl, she’d still give me an excuse to see them again. If/when we move into my grandmother’s old house, I’ll have an outbuilding all to myself to create a “Girl Den”. I’m going to paint it pink inside and make some shelves to display all my girlie things that have been tucked inside boxes for far too long.
9. To resurrect my doll house. My grandfather and I built it from a kit when I was maybe eight or so, and OH how I loved that thing. I used to imagine what it would be like to play with it with my own daughter someday. I’ll probably set it up in a corner of my Girl Den and play with it all by myself.
8. The clothes! Oh heavens, the clothes! What adorable things exist for little girls these days! Like this dress from Chasing Fireflies:
7. The shoes! Have mercy, the shoes! How can I get excited about brown loafers and white sneakers for boys when I have to walk by these to get there?
6. The accessories! (I’m sensing a theme here…) Tutus and hairbows and jewelry, oh my! Like this ensemble from Maddie’s Closet:
5. It’s all been superficial so far, but seriously, a good mother-daughter relationship can be one of the most beautiful things on earth. Any time I think about not getting to experience that from the mothering side, I tear up little.
4. Daughters (usually) remain closer to their parents than sons do when they’re grown. The girl’s parents are usually more involved with the grandchildren than the guy’s parents. Three times over, I’m going to be just the mother-in-law, the other grandmother. I know I hope to be more involved than that, but it all depends on how much my future daughters-in-law will let me in.
3. I’d love to see the kind of father my husband would be to a girl. He’s a great boy daddy, but I always wondered if he’d be the kind of dad who would paint his little girl’s toenails or read her princess stories at bedtime. I always loved the idea of seeing him wrapped around his daughter’s finger.
2. I think that having a girl would help soften things up around here, and that would be good for our boys. I’d have a better reason than “You’re going to be exposed to culture, dangit!” to drag my kids to the ballet and other more genteel social events. They would head into dating and marriage a little more accustomed to relating to females.
1. Just like a man sees his sons as his heritage, I would feel that with a girl. Whether she was like me, or my polar opposite, she’d still be a female carrier of all the beautiful things that I hold dear and boys simply cannot relate to. I’m not even wording that the way I mean it — it sounds far more selfish than the feeling feels, if that makes any sense. Honestly, I mourn the loss of that every day.
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Does anybody have a tissue?