Very soon, Reuben will be 2. That's it, he can no longer pass as a baby. That baby is now a full on boy. And recently I’ve been really glad that I had a boy. But I have a couple of confessions.
1 - I knew I was having a boy. I told everyone I wanted the gender to be a surprise but realistically, did I really need any more surprises? Absolutely not.
2 - I didn’t want a boy. I mean, I didn’t want a baby in the first place but I came round to that idea a lot quicker than I did to the idea of having a boy.
There was no question about it. The radiologist showed me his little body parts and I held back tears as she showed me his little boy parts too. I assumed I was destined to have a girl since I had my first ever Baby Born with approx. 350 outfits and I got up at 3am to feed her (it’s easier to get up when it’s a plastic baby). I’m as girly as they get. I wear dresses every day, I don’t like to get dirty, and I like anything that’s pink and sparkly. It was a predicament. All my dreams of us wearing matching outfits were dead.
In all seriousness, after the scan I sobbed the whole way home. It’s a feature that is unspoken of in pregnancy – as long as your baby is healthy you aren’t supposed to have a preference for a boy or girl. But I wanted that connection I have with my own mum where I tell her anything. I thought a daughter would be closer to her questionably young mum. I thought we’d be like sisters. But more importantly I thought we’d be like one of my favourite TV shows - Gilmore Girls. It didn’t matter if the dad drifted in and out, those girls stuck together no matter what. I thought I would never bond with a boy.
I believe my exact words on the way home were ‘is it not bad enough I’m pregnant but now I’m having a BOY!?’ Irrational, I know. But even after he was born and pregnancy hormones had subsided, I still envied my friend for a having a girl. Sometimes I put Reuben’s hair in ponytails. And I used to wonder what I’d call him if he was a girl.
But these days things are different. The older Reuben gets, the more I love his boyish features. And the more I’m glad I had a boy. Here’s some reasons why.
- He’s really really energetic. And I’m really really not. All I ever wanted was a child who sat at the table and read books while I looked on smiling sweetly. Instead I have a boy who stacks chairs as high as they can go and then he jumps off them…repeatedly. AND IT’S SO FUNNY. I’m laughing just thinking about it. His energy is contagious! I regularly complain about how exhausting he is as he Just. Doesn’t. Stop. But if I’m honest, I didn’t even know I could laugh the way I do when I’m chasing him round and round. And I didn’t know I had that kind of energy inside me…deep deep down inside me.
- He’s easy going. I can already see him roll his eyes at me when I’m at that crazy time of the month. He gives me a look that says ‘Mum, chill’ and he reminds me that I have no need to be insane.
- Previously boring things are now super exciting. Like water pistols and fire engines. The other day I was alone and saw a massive Dinosaur shaped balloon and I couldn’t stop thinking about how cool it was. Things are much more thrilling now that I see them through Reuben’s sweet little eyes.
- His strength. He does everything with gusto. Even when he comes running at me with for a hug, I usually get winded.
- Boy clothes. I spent my pregnancy jealously swooning over the girls section but now I don’t bat an eyelid. I love how boys can dress like little men but still look like yummy little babies. Here’s one of my fave outfits recently.
- I’ve gained a whole new appreciation for nature. It’s very interesting when Reuben comes to me with a dead fly in his hand and says ‘Mummy fly awwww’, and expects me to cherish it.
- He is changing my perception of guys. I have a tendency to dislike men. It’s an issue. But it’s also a work in progress. I honestly believe God gave me Reuben to soften my heart – and I am so thankful.
- There’s something special about having a ‘mummy’s boy’. Little boys are very loving and squishy towards their mamas.These days Reuben has some amazing male influences in his life. It's an answer to prayer. I feel so blessed by them but also a little jealous of their boy bond. I just don't have it. Thankfully, Reuben is a mummy's boy. The hugs, thoughtful gestures (even if it’s a dead fly) and the precious words all melt my heart. Even when Reuben is grown up and doing his own thing and is married or something else horrific, I know we’re both going to have a special mother-son relationship. We’ll remember the years it was ‘just us’ and we’ll still be closer than ever.