I get a lot of interesting comments from people when I venture out with three small boys:
"You're hands must be really full."
"Looks like fun."
(said both sarcastically and sincerely)
"Your boys are so cute!"
But lately it seems I've mostly been getting these kind of comments:
"It's too bad you don't have a girl."
"You should put your request in for a girl next time."
"You're lucky you don't have to worry about _____." (doing hair, girl drama, fingernail polish, sharing the bathroom, glitter - etc)
"Why don't you have a girl?"
"Were you surprised to have 3 boys?"
"Are you going to keep trying for a girl?"
"Don't you wish you had a daughter?"
"I think you'd love to have a daughter."
I know people mean well, truly I do. I know these comments aren't out to hurt me. But they do. They sting, they bite, and sometimes it's like a slap in the face.
Oh sure, I am likely to kind of laugh them away - it's how I can make it through each day. I put my feelings in a deep hole and cover them up with words like:
"My husband and I both come from families of 4 boys in a row, it's not surprising."
"I grew up with mostly brothers, I wouldn't know what to do with a girl."
"It sure is nice to just comb hair and call it good."
I can't say what I really want to say. Almost everything I want to say is likely to ruin the day of the person offering these unintentionally harsh comments.
"I have a daughter. She passed away. We never got to meet her."
"My boys have a big sister. Sometimes I count the kids and feel like one is missing. I go through all the names of the kids I can see and then I know the one I am missing is my daughter."
"I wish I had a reason to buy pink things."
"Sometimes I hate going past the girl section of a store. Easter has been hard. I keep wanting to buy a pretty Easter dress. But I have no reason to. Oh, I know I could buy one and donate it to someone else, but it's just not the same as buying one for my own little princess and watching her spin around and feel especially beautiful."
"I've been thinking lately of all the things I will miss in the future since I have no daughter. No mother/daughter look alike pictures, no matching fingernails, no princess dresses, no tea parties, no going to the LDS General Women's Conference together, no prom dress shopping, no getting ready for fancy dances, no wedding to plan. There's a lot of things I will miss about not having my daughter around."
But I don't say these things. I usually laugh or offer one of my standby comments and I bury the hurt. But sometimes that hurt bubbles out. It's usually late at night or when I come home from some mother/daughter thing. I pull out the blanket I made for her a couple years ago and I hold it and cry. On bad nights I sleep with the blanket. It's as close to holding her as I can get. Some days it's just not enough. I really wish I could take my daughter in my arms, kiss her round little face, and smell her nice clean hair. But I can't. And sometimes it's almost too much to handle. I know lately it's been really hard.
I'm not saying I would trade any of my boys. I definitely wouldn't. They are all amazing and special and I know they are here for special purposes. And because I don't want them to ever think I don't want them you will NEVER hear me say I wish I had a daughter, especially if they are around. I know, I'm posting this out to the world wide web. But I hope by the time this reaches my sons they will understand.
Maybe this beautiful quote I read on a friend's blog today will help:
Are you wondering what to say to a mom with 3 little boys? I don't mind hearing it looks like my hands are full or that it looks like fun (if you say it sincerely) - both are definitely true! I also love people telling me my boys are cute/handsome/sweet/kind/well behaved or other compliments. Please don't tell me you think I'm brave - most likely I'm at the store with three small children in tow because I am desperate for something - maybe even just time out of the house. If you see a mom with a bunch of little boys in tow, don't tell her she is missing out by not having a daughter. Chances are she truly loves getting to be a mother to those little boys and she wouldn't trade any of them for a daughter - even if she aches inside for her daughter.