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Jul 24

Why I’m glad that Sam was a boy

I never planned on having a boy. Now that I’m actually a parent, I know how ridiculous that sounds. It’s not like you can pick what kind of baby you get – and if you are lucky enough to be able to conceive and carry a healthy baby, the last thing you care about is whether it’s a boy or a girl. That being said, I was always planning on having girls, three, specifically, and their names were going to be Jessica Mary, Emily Amanda and Meghan Rebecca. It worked out with Jess, she was a girl, Marc didn’t fight me on the name (at least not very much) and I fully expected to go on and have two more bouncing baby girls.

Jess is very much like me. I worry sometimes that I say that too much, I don’t want her to feel stuck or like she has to be like me – but in many ways, she just is. We look alike, same brown eyes and brown curls, she’s skinny scrawny just like I was, she’s got tiny hands and feet, just like me, and her personality is very similiar to mine. She’s definitely her dad’s daughter in some ways (you can’t give either of them a list of tasks, they might complete the first one, but there’s no way they’ll move on without being distracted and forgetting what they were trying to get done). She’s quiet and introspective most of the time, but can get silly and goofy too. She’d rather hang out with people she knows than make new friends, she loves to read, make up stories and play with her baby dolls or figurines. She likes to cuddle and sing and is quirky and kind of odd, all at the same time.

But Sam… when he was born, I was just in shock. I was expecting my little Emily Amanda! And instead, I got this little boy, with huge grey eyes and had no idea what to do with him. Adding colic (which is oh-my-gosh disasterous) and reflux – the poor little boy just sobbed for the first several months of his life – when he wasn’t attached to my breast because he nursed like a madman (to the point where I had serious over-supply issues). I didn’t know what his personality was going to be like, he spent so much of his time just miserably unhappy. It was so hard… and for a long time, he was very much a Mommy’s boy. More than any other child I’d ever seen, Sam wanted, needed, to be with me. There was no question of me going back to work, having me disappear into the shower was enough to send him into hysterics.

As he’s grown older, I’m seeing more and more of Marc in him. He looks like Marc, so much more than me. He’s got my eyes, but that’s it. Other than that, it’s all Marc. He’s also got Marc’s personality in a lot of ways (other than a serious aversion to parties – Marc likes nothing more than 30 of his closest friends gathered together – and Sam hates that more than anything). But he loves all things BOY. Trucks, swords, army guys, super heros, fire trucks, Thundar the Barbarian videos on Youtube with Daddy – and lately, reruns of an old show called Emergency.

He LOVES his Daddy, in a way entirely different from the way he feels about me. He needs me – he worships Marc. When he was little, watching Marc fix things would make him tremble with awe, if Marc offered to let him hold a tool, Sam would almost genuflect, you could hear him thinking the toddler equivalent of “I’m not worthy.” He runs to the door when Marc comes home, spends literally hours sitting on Marc, playing with him, discussing things, asking Marc questions. He talks to me too – but with Marc, he’s got this quality of wanting Marc to explain the world to him. Like Marc is the undisputed expert on all the things that Sam feels he needs to know, and he just sits and soaks it up all. It’s wonderful to watch.

Marc loves his girls. Not just my Jessie, but his daughters from his first marriage as well. He is a great father to daughters, willing to dress Barbies and babysit dolls and encouraging them to run faster and farther and try harder. But being the father of a son, being a father to this particular son brings him a certain joy that I think was missing in his life. And I’m glad that I was able to give that to Marc by having his son 🙂

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