Chicago mom and the all boys club

I just found out that I’m having my third boy. It didn’t surprise me in the least. In fact, I said “Of course it is!” when I was told it was another gentleman. My husband is one of three boys; I was already two-thirds there. It seemed almost fated.

I’m not going to lie — I had a twinge about never having a daughter (this is likely our last kid) but that didn’t supplant any excitement about this boy. I love my other two guys, so one more is certainly welcome. We already have the dinosaurs, trains and the clothes. We are well supplied to welcome this little man to the club.

What has been surprising is everyone’s reaction to the news. “Oh no, another boy!” “You must be disappointed.” “Will you try for a girl?” People really have a lot to say about something that no one has any control over. (Well, any conscious control, anyway.) I don’t think this is exclusive to parents of boys. Parents of all-girl assortments get the same old song, just with slightly different word placement. I guess I didn’t realize how deep-seated the assumption is that one of each gender is the perfect arrangement, and that you’re missing out if you don’t get to experience both.

I’m not particularly offended by any of this; it’s just interesting to me. A lot of people asked me if I was alright after I heard, including my doctor, who said it’s not uncommon for women to weep when they find out they’re having yet another boy. I suppose everyone has an idea in their head of what their family will look like before nature decides for them. But really, what is that based on? What you’re used to? TV? It seems mostly to be stereotypes that don’t hold up very well. Not all daughters are little princesses who are best friends with their moms; not all sons are bruisers who grow up to never call home.

My point is, we have no idea what kind of children we’re going to get, no matter the gender. My kids are already so different from one another, and they’re both boys. I think everyone has to readjust their expectations a bit when their family takes its final shape. That readjustment probably continues forever — maybe this one’s not going to be the athlete you hoped, or that one isn’t Harvard bound. Who cares? We get who we get and it’s our job to figure out how to shepherd those particular kids to their best selves.

As for me, I think it will be fun to have three guys. It’s a special club, in a way. Other moms at the grocery store or Target give a little nod of acknowledgement. We are quite understanding of one another when our ‘spirited’ fellas, say, play bulldozer in the potted plant at the doctor’s office or pull off the mannequin hand and start spanking their brother with it. (Not that that’s ever happened to me … ) Fortunately, I’ve got nieces to shop for. Because, all other gender generalizations aside, one is just flat out true: Girl clothes are just more fun.

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