Thursday, December 11, 2008

some thoughts on gender

Pin It Many of you know that, at the beginning of this pregnancy, I was calling our little one, "she." When I saw the first sonogram, my insides screamed, "There she is." Sarah H, of all people, was even thinking we had a girl -- it was her "feeling."

So at the sono, when the tech said she thought he was a boy, I was a bit taken aback -- somewhat sad, somewhat surprised, and somewhat scared. This was all of course mingled with the joy and beauty of seeing a perfectly formed in miniature face, hand, spine, and leg on the screen. But I still felt like I had lost something.

Paying homage to the over-analyzer that I am, I began reflecting on where this *girl* idea came from in the first place, because as became obvious that day, I had no idea. Because I know I can't blame the entire feeling on Sarah, I looked for other sources. And I found a few.
1) Girls are more novel in our family. There just was a new nephew born on my side, and on Jay's side, the only grandson is that -- a grandSON. Grandpa J was hoping for a little girl... which made Jay excited about a little girl -- and alas, I created a little girl. Which brings me to my second reason:

2) I didn't want to bond to an "it." I became at times slightly frustrated with the gender differentiation of pronouns within the English language during the early stages of this pregnancy. In Chinese, though in writing the characters for "he" and "she" are different -- he, she, and it are all pronounced the same way. This would really be more convenient for little beings in utero.

3) A long story that had to do with when my mom was pregnant with me... there was a part of me that wanted to "complete the circle" so to speak. My mom has been so exceptional to me while pregnant, particularly when every cooking smell made me want to vomit, and that just wasn't what she received when she was pregnant with me. I felt that she was redeeming an old wound. A little girl seemed to fit in to that scenario of my mind more appropriately.

But that wasn't all... and I knew it... and that's what I've been working on:
4) Gender bias.
- I have brothers... only... and always wanted a sister.
- The boys at school get a far higher percentage of low grades than the girl... I think a part of me gets exasperated by this.
- Boys just scare me sometimes. For many, complicated reasons.
- In most countries of the world, people want boys only, and neglect or kill girls. I like having nothing to do with those kinds of mentalities.

But now I have some different thoughts. They became very obvious to me after a sono tech acquaintance of mine voiced doubt regarding the gender shot we were given.

I am becoming more and more attached to this little boy by the day. I would no longer want him to change back in to a girl. I am proud to be part of raising the next generation of fathered men. I am grateful that my little guy will be given a daily example of what being a loving and hard-working man is...
I think it's incredible that he gets to grow up among tractors, dirt, and family.

My dreams for him grow increasingly tangible, but mostly center on him becoming a man of faith, character, strength, and compassion.

I find it remarkable how my mind-set has shifted from fear and apprehension to confidence and great joy.

And I am also grateful that in this country, we love our little girls and boys.


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