Thursday, February 16, 2012

Bigger Picture Moment: Conversion

I voiced my honest fears to a dear friend, and showed a good bit of pretense to the rest of the world.  I'm so excited to be having a baby boy! I would say.  I'd hold up our newest blue onesie and crow with adoration.  Rub my belly with pride.

But inside.  In the place where I keep my truth -- a silty pearl resting hidden under gritty shells -- I panicked. 

I stood one afternoon looking out over a sun-drenched back yard through windows that radiated heat.  Family was all around me and we'd just found out that the sweet baby nestled under my heart would be -- already was, in fact -- a boy.  There were hearty congratulations and squeals of joy.  But I stood alone once it all settled down, my arms wrapped around my ribs, my smile hard and still.  I almost couldn't breathe through the stress of the masquerade.

Just me and my fear and the radiating windows, watching kids play in the late-spring sun.

My pearl of truth was terrified.  How could I possibly be a mother to a boy?  Do I even like boys?  All I know are girls... Protected on the outside by my false cheeriness, I quaked.  Little fault lines raced along the mineral surface over my truth.  It's shameful to admit, I know.  But it was there, for several days -- weeks? -- as I struggled to come to terms with my doubt.

And do people ever talk about this?  The world-shatter of news that is at once welcome and fearsome?


But when he smiles -- when he gurgles, when he yawns, when he sighs --  I go warm and slow with love.  I stare with my jaws slack and my lips round with awe.  This baby, this perfect boy, is mine.

Ours, rather.  I claimed sole ownership of the doubt and fear, but we all claim his sweetness.  It's so overflowing that if I saved it all for myself, I'd surely burst. 

I don't discount the quakes and shivers from before.  But I can't quite grasp, anymore, what I was so worried about.  Only acknowledge that my feelings were real, if fraught with unnecessary drama. 

There was nothing to fear; he is only a sweet baby boy.  At the same time, he is more than a baby boy. 

He is my baby boy.  Such a small, life-changing distinction. 

I feel like I've arrived.

This month for Bigger Picture Moments, we're encouraging you to explore the beauty and simplicity of LOVE. Let the Valentine's hearts and rosy colors cloud your words as you share your moments -- a memory, a confession, a proposal, a feeling -- and link up. Jade is hosting today; please head over to share your moment and read others!


  1. Yes! You have arrived. And isn't it wonderful? Not only are you learning how to love a boy, but you are learning to love Landon, which is a totally unique experience.

  2. Oh, that was my fear with finding out this time around. If it's a girl or a boy I'll have some misgivings. This is our last. If we don't have a boy... But then again, we know girls... Though each is so different! But once it's not an abstract becoming baby, once there is a face and hands and eyes and ... It'll be my baby. Boy or girl.

  3. My first was a girl, then came the boy. They're 24 and 22 now! And though I had no fear for the first, my fear with the second was that I'd never be able to love him as much as I loved my first. Literal nightmares with me throwing him out a window when she would walk in cause I didn't want him to spoil or change what I had with my first. It's amazing how gripped we can be by these fears...and it's hard to know how to express them. As you've expressed so well...the love and room in our hearts just grows and grows! I have learned SO MUCH from my son, I wish you the same wonderful journey!

  4. Danielle - It IS wonderful. I'm positively blown away every day. EVERY. DAY.

    Kate - I understand perfectly! For me, the doubts manifested themselves in my NEED to find out -- so I would have time to come to terms with the gender, either way. But you're so right: once the baby's in your arms, he or she is the center of perfection. Nothing else matters.

    Adrienne - Oh, thank you for the encouragement! I'm more than a little excited to watch Landon grow and see how he relates to the world. I love anticipating the futures of my kids, while totally soaking up their present moments.

  5. Sarah, this post makes me feel so much better! I was panicked when we found out this baby is a boy. I come from a family of all girls, I have a girl, all I know is girl! We waited to find out with Molly but this time I felt like I needed to know & I'm glad we found out so I can mentally prepare for the sweet boy-ness headed our way. My favorite line was "I don't discount the quakes and shivers from before. But I can't quite grasp, anymore, what I was so worried about. Only acknowledge that my feelings were real, if fraught with unnecessary drama." Thanks for the reassuring post :)

  6. Such honesty, such warmth here in this post, Sarah ... and when it comes down to it, aren't they always our babies before anything else? :)

  7. "But inside. In the place where I "keep my truth -- a silty pearl resting hidden under gritty shells -- I panicked. "

    Oh yes.

    And my bloggy crush continues. You always have your finger tip on the right word, the right feeling that so deeply resonates with my heart.

    It is ok to have those feelings. To the world I said "It's a boy! Another boy. I'm surrounded with Italian/Mexican/German testosterone... ha ha ha it will be so much fun."

    But I was worried. Just like you. And not because I didn't know what to expect. But it was because I so longed for a girl. And now I say "If we tried for another we would have another boy" and it may be true, and it may be the reason I don't want to try for another child.

    I love my bambinos. They mean THE WORLD to me. But sometimes our mothering heart gets confused. But our babies will always show us the way. :))) xo!

  8. I'm so happy to read this post!

    (I always suspected this conversion would happen!)

  9. Oh lovely! I'm so glad for your conversion! The funny thing is, if T and I are ever lucky enough to have kids, I sometimes suspect that, though I'd know much more clearly what to do with a daughter (to the extent any of us ever know what we're doing...), I secretly suspect I could have a very special relationship with a son. I'll leave the bombing and destruction part to his father. But I will HAPPILY raise a momma's boy. :) (Not the weird kind who hangs around, whipped, even in adulthood. Just one who knows he can talk to his momma.)

    Also this: "a silty pearl resting hidden under gritty shells" - beautiful!

  10. i had the very same feelings when we knew i was expecting a boy - now 17 years ago! i couldn't 'think' my way into a boy's head, a boy's body... but i certainly could feel my way to loving the beautiful child we were blessed with, who is now growing into a fine young man :)
    thank you so much for sharing this x

  11. I felt the same way with my son (who was my first). But, I can't imagine my world without him now. When his sister came along, I had almost the same reaction. A girl? But I already know about boys. I'm comfortable with boys! But oh how I love her so!

    God is just so powerful and wonderful the way he works to fill us with what we didn't even know we wanted or needed!

  12. Oh, girl this post rings loud and true for me. I didn't feel the longing / mourning as much with the first {because I knew I could try for a girl for the second} But when they told me number two was a boy my heart sunk. I even had a couple of friends ask if I was ok. I had her name all picked out, and the nursery decorated {at least in my head} because I thought surely I would have one of each. I mourned for months and it wasn't until I started decorating the nursery and looking at E's old clothes that the blessing fully gripped my heart and held on. Now, after almost two years with my little redhead boy I couldn't imagine a life without him. And while it has be hard to give up playing with Barbies and knowing I'll never go wedding dress or prom dress shopping. I'm learning everything I needed to know about Superheroes.

  13. I'm finally catching up on my blog reading. I'm so glad I didn't miss this post! This was exactly how I felt when I found out Alex was a girl (only, as always, you say it so much better than I did!) All I knew were boys and I was raised by my dad so I had little to NO idea what to do with a girl. But now she's here and she's mine and you are right - it's good and perfectly wonderful.


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?