Long before the ultrasound, Erik knew Mary was a girl (that’s a story for another day). Still, as the cheery technician spread cold jelly across my belly he faltered, “you do realize it’s probably a boy?” He wrapped his hands around mine.
“Yep,” I chirped, “six boys. It will be fantastic.”
I was extremely defensive of my brood of man cubs. After the birth of each of my boys I was bombarded with the question, “So are you going to try again?”
Cradling my adorable baby boy in my arms, I replied, “Actually, I think this is a pretty good one.”
I adore my boys. I hope that’s evident. I’d take a couple more just like ’em. But I’ll admit to coveting little pink dresses, wishing I could sign someone up for ballet and admiring little girls who sat quietly at church coloring in a book. My adorable boys were a maelstrom of energy; I thought a baby girl might mellow our family out.
Heart- pulsing beautifully, arms, legs, skull, lungs– all in perfect order. I breathed relief at each measurement and nodded when the tech asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby. “I want to be absolutely sure. 100% sure. I think, I can tell– yes, yes, it’s a girl.”
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. Tears slid down my cheeks as Erik whooped for joy.
We bought a pink dress on the way home.
And now, she is six.
“Don’t worry Mom, I think six is still pretty little.” Mary reassured me.
But six is not a baby; six is a girl.
Mary, my little love, has not mellowed out our household– she’s a whirling dervish of energy. But it’s different sort of energy. She lines up pillows and cartwheels across them. She recruits the boys for games of ‘house’ and ‘store’ and ‘school.’ She sings and twirls and laughs at all the boys antics. Despite her vivacity at home, Mary hides behind my leg in public and rarely speaks to my friends. She is, as she expresses it, “a very shy person.”
And yes, she sits quietly in church and colors in a book.
If Miss Mary had her way, she’d wear jeans and t-shirts (not sparkly ones!) every day. My obsession with dresses baffles her. Still, who can resist twirling in a garden on a snowy winter day? Many thanks to my friends Kit and Kevin for inviting us to the greenhouse.