|He's the one on the right.|
When I got pregnant for the first time, everyone predicted I was going to have a girl, but I knew different. And at the 20 week ultrasound, I proved them right. I was completely okay with having a boy. I was never one of those people that just had to have a little girl mini-me. I'm not a girly girl. I hate pink. I hate ballet. And besides, I knew I would have another child.
When I got pregnant for the second time, I told people I didn't care about the gender. And I didn't think I did. After all, I loved Braden more than I could ever have imagined. A boy. So if we had another boy, it would just be another amazing little miracle who I would love more than anything. And besides, I'm not a girly girl. I hate pink. I hate ballet.
I don't know how people go through their whole pregnancy without finding out the gender. Because for me, from the second I got that positive pregnancy stick I was dying to know. Dying! I would harass my husband to death asking him, "So what do you think it is today?" I did all those online tests - Chinese calendar, stupid questionnaires, that ring over the belly test. All with mixed results.
So when the time came to get the 20 week ultrasound, I barely slept the night before. I was filled with excitement.
I still remember the ultrasound technician's words: "It looks like you're going to have double trouble."
It took me a second to understand what she was saying. Oh, okay, she means I'm having another boy. I'm going to have two boys. My husband and I laughed and smiled at the news, and I remember taking a big sigh. Deep down, I knew it all along.
I was happy. I texted the news to relatives and called my best friend. But there seemed to be an underlying tone in the reaction of everyone - are you disappointed you didn't get a girl? Of course I wasn't, I would tell them. Braden would have a best friend for life, and I would have another mini-Braden. Where is the disappointment in that?
That day, I took Braden to a park. And I found myself staring at the little girls. And then staring at the parents of the little girls in envy.
I may never have that.
After few minutes of these thoughts swirling through my head, I had to leave the park. I got in the car and cried.
Which surprised no one more than me. I thought I didn't care! Look at how much I love Braden! What would I do with a girl anyway? I hate pink, remember? And ballet!
But in the back of my mind I knew that this second baby may be my last. And then that was it. No pink. No ballet. No shopping excursions and spa days and trying on wedding dresses and all that crap that society tells you mothers and daughters are supposed to do together.
After a few days of a a pity part, I got over it. And when Casey came, I fell absolutely in love with him. Like Braden, he's not just a boy. He's a person and the most amazing gift I can imagine.
And lately, I find myself being more and more thankful for boys.
There are the practical things of course. We can reuse toys. We can reuse clothes. I am an expert at changing boy diapers and pointing it down (always point it down!).
But more than anything, I am thankful for brothers. And as I bear witness to this brotherly relationship bloom and unfold, I am beginning to realize what an amazing gift it is.
Obviously there are no guarantees. But my hope for my two boys is that they are best friends. That they are playmates. That they can kick around a ball outside and give advice about girls and give best men speeches at each other's weddings. That they will spend Thanksgiving and holidays together long after I am gone. That they will take care of each other.
A few weeks ago I was having a really bad day. It was long and it was dark and it was cold. My husband had called to say he would be working late. It was dinner time, and I just wasn't feeling it. I was counting down the minutes until bedtime and just going through the motions.
Casey was sitting in his highchair, and Braden was running around the living room not eating dinner. I yelled at him to come back to the table, when he decided to run over to Casey and start singing BINGO, accompanied by a little dance. After a minute of staring at Braden blankly, Casey all of a sudden erupted into hysterical laughter.
Which made us all laugh.
Encouraged, Braden kept going. He would pause for a minute in between songs and tickle Casey's neck, only making him laugh harder.
It's hard to describe how I felt at that moment, but all of a sudden a feeling of pure happiness came over me.
Look at what I have given them. A brother.
And I realized how lucky I am to have two boys. Not just because each of them individually are the most amazing people I have ever come to know, but because they are a gift to each other. They are brothers. Double Trouble.
I think a part of me will always mourn the girl I didn't have, but I wouldn't trade what we have now for anything. How could I? Just look at my two boys.
(And besides, the jury is still out on number 3!)