Due to the fact that there just aren’t enough surprises in this world, we decided not to find out the gender of our babies until they were born. When I was pregnant for the second time, I secretly (and desperately) wanted a sister for Emma. I never had a sister, and always thought it was a good idea. I could get a second use out of all of Emma’s cute clothes, and they would be the BEST of friends. I was absolutely convinced that I was having another girl, and her name would be Sophia Mae. Since Emma favored her dad so much in looks, I pictured Sophia having more of my features (maybe even curly red hair). I had it ALL figured out. Besides, what in the world would I ever do with a boy!?!
The day I went into labor (right on my due date), my contractions started in the morning and then stopped. By the time Oprah came on in the afternoon, I’d had enough of the waiting, so I hopped on the treadmill and started jogging (as I’ve mentioned before, I often can’t get out of my own way;). Less than an hour later, I was headed to the hospital to have Emma’s baby sister and I just couldn’t wait! Needless to say, due to my treadmill shenanigans, my bag of waters was bulging by the time I got through triage, and I almost didn’t have time to get an epidural. In fact, the medicine never really kicked in before it was time to push, so I was able to feel most of what was happening. After only three relatively “easy” pushes, my little miracle emerged and my whole life flashed before my eyes. Emma’s baby sister had BOY parts!? Better yet, I would be “the mother-in-law”!?
No less than a million emotions coursed through me when my beautiful baby boy was born. He was absolutely perfect and he was healthy in every way. I was blessed beyond measure, yet I have to admit, I was sad. I couldn’t share it at the time (and I’ve shared it with very few since), but I was mourning Sophia. Didn’t God know that I was meant to have another girl? Didn’t He hear my prayers and know my heart? How did He NOT know that boys had really only caused grief for me in my lifetime, and I was TERRIFIED to raise one?
It took time to adjust to the idea of having a boy. It took time to work through the immense guilt that I felt over wanting something different from what God had intended for me. But now I understand – I struggled with having a boy because I was still carrying the grief of feeling rejected and abandoned by my own father and I was still trying to heal those wounds. Many of the other male influences and relationships in my life hadn’t been incredibly positive or fulfilling either and I just didn’t trust men. So being faced with the task of raising one, was overwhelming at best.
But I can tell you now, God knew EXACTLY what I needed. I needed the opportunity to write a different story about the men in my life. I needed the opportunity to raise this little man to be entirely different from the dysfunction that I came from and knew. Of course my little man will one day leave me, but it won’t be the abandonment of my past – it will be the reward of giving him the tools to go out into the world and make a difference. And he WILL be a difference maker. God sent me a wise old soul, with a huge heart, and the ability to captivate an audience. And I absolutely couldn’t love him more. I wouldn’t trade a thousand Sophia’s for even one moment with Grant.
Life is a highway, and I am blessed beyond measure to have this little man on mine. He was EXACTLY what I needed.