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What Really Matters

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

It appears that once again I am going against convention in not discovering the gender of our baby prior to birth. I get asked daily — usually by strangers — if I know what I am having. When I respond that we are waiting to find out, the shock clearly registers on the face of the individual. As though I’ve said something so completely shocking and out-of-the norm. The follow-up question is usually “this is your first?” as though that might explain our odd decision. When it comes to light that this is my third and that we have both a son and daughter, the response is always the same.

“So it doesn’t really matter, then, does is.”

I find this extremely strange — and a little insulting. First of all, it never really mattered. Not the first time. Nor the second time. And not this time. Though I certainly desired the experience of mothering a son and a daughter, I always figured that any mothering experience would be wonderful regardless of the gender of the child. The fact that I happen to already have one of each in no way impacts what I hope with this one.

For all I really want is a healthy child.

Would I love for Poppyseed to have a sister? Of course! I can’t imagine making my way through life without my sister. Or sisters — now that I’ve acquired two more through marriage.

Do I think that life would be even better for Beernut if he had a brother to share in life’s adventures? Absolutely! And Poppyseed would certainly hold an important position as Daddy’s only girl 🙂

But I can’t have it both ways. And to be quite honest, either scenario will be a blessing to our family. It just irks me that people make assumptions about gender desirability.

Furthermore, since I ascribe to our tradition of preparing for the impending birth by not preparing (!), there is no logistical reason of discovering the gender prior to the blessed event. As a hard-core devotee of supersition, I certainly would not want to attach too much personality (or God-forbid the actual name) to this potential life. Even with modern medicine, I won’t breathe easy until the little one is safely delivered.

So no — it doesn’t matter. It never did.

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