I was walking out of a store, lugging Jade’s carseat while the girls ran ahead, when a hand on my arm stopped me. Thinking I’d forgotten or dropped something, I turned to see an older lady smiling down at the covered carseat. “Did you get your boy?” she asked me.
“No, it’s a girl,” I answered, staring at her face as I tried to figure out how she’d know me to think I’d been wanting a boy. Only as she walked away and I called the girls back to cross the parking lot with me did I realize why she’d asked. She’d seen Sunshine and Lily and assumed that, with two girls, the baby in the carseat must’ve been our attempt to have a boy.
It made me a bit angry. She didn’t know me; she had no right to make assumptions about me or the sort of family I wanted. (It reminded me of the people who used to walk up to me in the grocery store when Sunshine and Lily were babies and ask whether they were a boy or a girl and how old they were and how heavy they’d been at birth—why, if you don’t know me, do you want to know that? And why would I give all those details to a complete stranger? But anyway…)
Yes, it would have been fun to have a boy this time. My husband would enjoy shopping for boy clothes and would finally have an excuse to buy some of those cool toys he’s been looking at for years.
It’s equally fun to have a girl—to dig out the cute dresses Sunshine and Lily hardly wore before they outgrew them, and to look forward to the day Jade will be playing with them.
My husband and I don’t hide the fact that we want a lot of kids. During our marriage prep course, our instructors stressed that we all needed to talk about how many kids we wanted. My husband said (with a straight face), “We’re having a disagreement about that. She wants a dozen kids and I say a rugby team is fifteen.” Everyone laughed; they got the point that we’re open to children. We don’t really have an ideal number; he just likes playing rugby and I once read a funny book about a family with a dozen kids.
I stopped telling that story, though, because people would tell me, “Wait until you have the first one. Then you’ll change your mind.” Well, we had Sunshine and I didn’t change my mind. We had Lily and I didn’t change my mind. And Jade has been the easiest baby of all three of them, so I’m hoping that the next babies follow her trend. I like kids, and even though I’m not always the mom I want to be, I still want a big family.
We didn’t have a third child because we were trying for a boy. We won’t have a fourth child because we’re trying for a boy. (My husband is now joking that we just need another girl to making a curling team.) I’m quite happy leaving how many kids we have—and what gender they are—up to God. Hopefully He’ll also give me the grace to be a good mom to them all too.
So, to end this rant, please don’t judge others because they have (or want) more or less kids than you do, and please don’t comment to them about how many kids they have (especially if they are random strangers in the grocery store). And whatever else you say, don’t ask, “Did you get your boy?”