Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mommy and Me

I'm the oldest child in my family, and I'm a girl. In Michael's family, the oldest sibling is a girl. All my cousins who had more than one child had a girl first. So I grew up simply knowing that I would have a girl first. While pregnant the first time, strangers on the street would stop me and say, "You're having a girl! I know it!" All my friends were confident it was a girl based on how I was carrying. Even my OB/GYN was convinced it was a girl, basing it on the fact that I had severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum) that caused a 20+ pound weight loss and frequent hospital visits for the persistent dehydration (which evidently happens slightly more often in pregnancies with a girl baby). The day of the ultrasound, I looked at Michael and said, "But what if it's a boy?" He assured me it was a girl.

But guess what? Everyone was wrong. There was a Nathan Ernest instead of a Margaret Rose.

I famously cried for two weeks after the ultrasound, devastated that my firstborn little girl was not to be. And yes, Nathan knows this story and we laugh about it together. Because having a son was the best thing that ever happened to me, and I tell him that every single day.

I have to say, I love, love, LOVE being a mom to two boys. Yes, they are smelly and tend to be a little gross, but I have so much joy watching them grow into little men. And I relish the opportunity to raise up two more gentlemen in a society where men have stopped opening doors for ladies and such. And having two boys and no girls allows me to continue my reign as the only Princess in our family. I go to Disneyland and see all the little girls dressed up like princesses with glitter in their hair and preschool-sized high heels, carrying little frilly purses, and then I look at my rough and tumble boys with the pizza sauce stain on their shirt and the sloppy kiss presented to my cheek on demand, and I say, "Thank you God for giving me boys!"

But I do sometimes feel a little twinge of sorrow when there are Mommy and Me events that are clearly for Mothers and Daughters. For instance, our city's Mother and Daughter high tea. Or the photo contests for look-alike mothers and daughters. That's never going to be me.

I have a friend named Rory who my husband went to high school with. She and her husband lost their son at birth, and they nearly lost Rory as well. Rory and Tim became adoptive parents to a tiny baby girl, Boo. While Rory and Tim are Caucasian, Boo is African American. And one of the ways they have bonded with their beautiful daughter is through caring for her hair. And fabulous Rory even started a website called Chocolate Hair / Vanilla Care documenting their journey in hair care with Boo. It's a great resource for other adoptive parents, as well as anyone who wants tips on how to get beautiful and sometimes jaw-dropping hair styles for their daughters.

Rory recently put out the all-call for Mommy and Me matching hair styles to be featured on her website. I thought it was an incredibly clever idea, since Mother's Day was coming. I had a brief twinge of that previously mentioned sorrow that I didn't have a daughter to create a matching hairstyle with. And then I realized that my Son Nathan and I have the same exact hair. Everyone else in both our families have curls. We have thick, straight hair. And when I was a teen, I experimented with every style (and color) that I could. Nat hasn't asked for a color change, but he's definitely expressing himself through his hair. So, I decided to submit a photo for Rory's website anyway.

I simply love how it turned out! Ben took the photo, and Nathan was actually thrilled to do this and get attention because of his hair. Like the goal of Rory's website, Nat and I bonded over hair. I told him how unique we were and how so many people in our extended family would love to have our thick straight hair that grows incredibly fast and always looks healthy and shiny. He was so proud. We also bonded over a discussion about fashion. We both prefer to wear black, and he covets my Doc Martens, which fit him perfectly (I'm making him save up for a pair of his own). All in all, it was a great experience.

So our photo lacks sweet ringlet curls, braids, and fluffy pink bows, which was what I dreamed of way back before there ever was a Nathan. But I still got that Mommy and Me experience I've been craving. And I have an amazing and irreplaceable son that I wouldn't trade for a dozen girls!

Go check out our featured post at Chocolate Hair / Vanilla Care by clicking HERE.

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