Alex was supposed to be Kate. Katelyn Emilee to be exact. I come from a matriarchal (sp?) sort of family and I always pictured myself with a girl. It’s a DNA thing, much like men want to pass on the family name – I am the last female in my family – you have to go back to my great great grandmother to start down a family branch to find a female in my generation. Family names ending all over the place with all the non childbearing females for three generations. (Which goes back to my family breast feeding theory – still collecting information on that by the way.)
Any time as a sort of adult that I’ve been around little boys my friends watched my shoulders creep up around my ears in the stress of watching them… be boys. The perpetual motion, the dirt, the daredevil… oh I’m getting short of breath just thinking of it.
Kate had been named since I sat in a 4 hour Statistics class scheduled once a week on Mondays. I never considered having a boy, I’d ordered a girl, I knew that’s what I wanted, the only concession I made to the idea of having a boy was that if we had a girl we could be done having kids and Scout could go off to the man snip factory, and if we had a boy we were having another kid. The End.
At my 20 week sonogram we learned it was a BOY. And not just kind of a boy. A BOY to make Scout proud.
Yeah. Scout asked, “Are you SURE that’s not the cord?” and the tech replied, “Umbilical cords don’t come with scrotum and testicles.”
Meanwhile I bit my cheeks and breathed carefully, trying not to bawl my guts out. I succeeded until we got to the car. On the way out of the hospital we’d passed a little boy trying to climb over the railing to the stairs and parachute down with his jacket. I came unglued. At dinner we sat by a dad and his boy and his girl. The girl ate nicely and quietly, the boy screamed like Karl Rove hating people prior to the resignation.
I emailed my mom a single line, “Scout gets to pass on the family name.” She too was stunned. What were we going to do?
I tried to get into it. I went to the scrapbook store to buy boy stuff. It was all horrible trains and gross blue and I left in tears.
It took a month of real mourning for the baby Kate that I wasn’t going to meet. One night I was in bed feeling sorry for myself and I felt the little boy inside me say, “I feel like I’ve failed a test!” and he broke into tears. And so did I. Because that’s how I’ve always felt to my own dad – like I’ve failed a test for being a girl. It got my attention, and I began to nurture the little boy inside of me, rather than my fear of WTF was I going to do with him. I finally scrapbooked his sonogram photos and as I wrote the words “I love your baby face” and “I love your baby feet” – I realized I truly did.