Warning: This blog post contains discussion of personal female biology. If you suspect you may be embarrassed or upset reading about such things, by all means feel free to skip this post and wait for the next one.
Jayne at Random Ramblings of an Unhinged Mind recently wrote a post about her Pigeon Pair in which she explained why she is grateful for, and values, having one child of each sex. I know when she wrote this post she was concerned she might inadvertently upset a couple of her friends, one of them being me, because we have many children of only one sex. I attempted to thank her for her post using my iPhone, but my comment became entangled in the etherwebz and I lost momentum for retyping it all on a minuscule keyboard.
I can honestly say, though, that her post was a breath of fresh air to me, after so often hearing from other parents that having one of each sex (or multiple of each sex) is really no big deal. The most insulting assertion to me is that "it makes no real difference at all because some boys are just like having girls and vice versa".
You can't tell me I'm not missing anything by not having a daughter. I've been a daughter, I've had the mother-daughter relationship from the daughter perspective, and I know it is something quite special (even when it sucks great hairy dog's balls at times). Moreover, I know what it is like to be a lone woman in a household of many men (okay, one man and many boys, but you'll get what I mean in just a second).
I tried to say the following at a gathering of friends - all of whom had daughters, so it was my mistake to think they'd get it - and was summarily fobbed off. Every few weeks in my life I feel incredibly LONELY in my wonderful family home with all my wonderful boys. Once every few weeks I skulk about the house, hiding a part of my life that most every woman is familiar with. I have no hope of ever sharing this part of my life with a woman who is biologically linked to me and can "get it".
I'm talking about my period. My bleed. Whatever term you wish to use.
Just recently, unbeknown to me, I left some spots of blood on the underside of the toilet seat. When one of my boys next went to the toilet, he lifted the seat, noticed the blood, and came out to tell everyone there was blood on the toilet seat. My husband turned all shades of red, white and blue, and the other boys tried to race one another to see.
I guess this should have been my opening to explain to them about a woman's cycle and the part it plays in the continuation of the human species, but I have to admit I took my cue from my Dh who evidently wished he'd been somewhere else when the announcement was made.
The thing is, even if I did tell the boys - and one day soon I certainly will -, they wouldn't get it. They will never get it. They will never understand the hope, relief, angst, joy, frustration, annoyance, or even the sense of cleansing that a menstruation period can bring to a woman. For them it will always be a messy, somewhat awkward topic that frightens them and confuses them and that they ultimately can never relate to. In this way - and in so many ways that being a woman is so completely different from being a man - will I never be able to relate to any of my children!
That said, the desire for a daughter will never go away. I will always miss the daughter I never had.
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