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Babies bring about curious questions. Uncomfortable questions.
I'm usually am open book. I mean, I'm a blogger. I write about my life for the entire internet to peer into on a daily basis. But one question that irks me a bit is the "Are you done?" question. As in, "Please, tell me exactly how many little bambinos you plan to bring earth side, when they'll arrive and what gender you hope they'll be?"
No one asked after my first. I think people assume these days that once you have one child, you'll try for a sibling; that you'll try for the opposite gender to "complete" your family. My husband, especially, got this question after our first child was a girl. Didn't he hope for a son someday? Someone to carry on the family name?
I'm sure in his heart he did have dreams of a little boy, but he never showed it. He fell into girl Dad Land hard and seemingly never looked back. During my second pregnancy I had a slight pull of hope for another daughter. I grew up with three sisters and have the most amazing bond with them; I have hopes of the same for my little girl. I want her to experience the bond of sisterhood.
Baby number two turned out to be a boy. Surprise, surprise! It was such a whirlwind of emotions for me. I was thrilled at the idea of a son. And bewildered too. Remember? This girl grew up with all sisters. Little boys was a land I had zero experience in. But, as fate would have it, my husband grew up with a brother. The land of boys was very familiar to him. God had prepared us well to parent both a daughter and a son. We felt blessed.
Those wondering minds never stop, do they?
That's when the questions started rolling in. In odd, semi-congratulatory phrases ...
How wonderful, a girl and now a boy! The perfect family!
What balance! Your family is complete?
You're all set now! Getting the snip snip soon?
Um. No and no and no. Never in our children talks did my husband and I aim to have a girl and a boy and then call it quits. Or as some eloquently phrased it "the snip snip." We honestly said that we'd take it one at a time, whether that was the blessing of just one child, two girls or a girl and a boy, maybe even three boys in a row or two of each gender. There was no "perfect" in our minds. No hope for an equal representation.
Every family has a unique dichotomy. I was raised with only sisters. I know the beauty of that. My husband knows the bond of brotherhood. Our two children are blessed to be experiencing something we have no direct knowledge of - sister and brother companionship. Things will be mixing up soon though, later this year we'll add a little wild card to our brood.
Now it's apparent that we aren't done growing our family, the questions have stopped. It must be because we've been categorized as one of those 3+ families. It won't surprise me if questions come around again though. Then I'd guess it will be less about boys or girls and more about how many children we do plan to have. Those wondering minds never stop, do they?
I think it's only natural to play out scenarios of how our family will evolve. I'm pleased as punch that we're adding a third and can honestly say I've got a prayer and a hope for a fourth down the road. Don't you just love how I'm pouring out all my secrets for the curious souls of the world? Perhaps I am the perfect one to ask those questions about boys and girls and family sizes.
So, here it goes. I would just love for my children to have the best of all the sibling combinations someday—both brothers and sisters. I hope my daughter will get a sister and my son, a brother. That way they can experience the same sisterhood and brotherhood my husband and I grew up loving.
But no matter what, I'll always count the bond they have right now as priceless and perfect. It's been a beautiful thing to watch them grow together and experience something I never had. I couldn't wish more for my children, regardless of gender, to have the love and fun that only a sibling can bring.